This documentary, directed by the two-time Oscar winner and 2018 Athena Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, Barbara Kopple, tells the stirring story of Sharon Jones, a true soul survivor who’s been called “the female James Brown” for the energy she and her band The Dap-Kings bring to the stage. The film follows Sharon Jones on an emotional journey as she battles cancer, struggles to keep her band together and mount a comeback show at New York’s Beacon Theater.
Q&A with filmmaker and Athena Honoree Barbara Kopple
Barbara Kopple is a two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker. She is a director and producer of narrative films, documentaries and commercials and an innovator and strategic leader in her field. Her work includes: Harlan County, USA, (Academy Award winner for best documentary feature – 1976); American Dream (Academy Award winner for best documentary feature – 1991); This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary – 2017), With Liberty and Justice For All?, The House of Steinbrenner (Peabody Award-winner- 2010), Friends for Life: Living with AIDS, Defending Our Daughters (Voices of Courage Award-winner) and Miss Sharon Jones!
Athena is not the first to recognize Barbara for her leadership and vision. In 2007, she was named a “She Made it Honoree” by the Paley Center for Media; she is the recipient of the Irene Diamond Award, the White House Project’s EPIC Award, and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. She is also a member of the New York Women in Film and Television’s Honorary Board. We are deeply honored to recognize Barbara’s lifelong dedication to uncovering the truth, for elevating and sharing the stories from all facets of our culture, and ensuring that individuals from all backgrounds are represented on screen.