27 JANUARY 2020 (TORONTO, ON) - Max Richter’s Sleep will have its North American Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2020 accompanied by a special evening concert performance of "From Sleep" performed by Max Richter and the ACME Quintet.
Eagle Rock Films are proud to present the documentary from JA Films and Globe Productions, produced by Julie Jakobek, Yulia Mahr, Oualid Mouaness and Stefan Demetriou and directed by Emmy-nominated, award-winning filmmaker Natalie Johns.
Lift yourself out of the festival’s frenetic pace for a spellbinding evening performance, as Max Richter performs a 90-minute concert version of this eight-hour opus, Sleep, with a string quintet from New York’s American Contemporary Music Ensemble and soprano Grace Davidson. The concert will be followed by a Q&A with Max Richter, his creative partner and producer of Sleep Yulia Mahr, and filmmaker Natalie Johns (Max Richter’s Sleep).
Telling the story behind the landmark nocturnal work, this unique new release follows trail-blazing composer and performer Max Richter as he consolidates an ambitious performance of his critically acclaimed eight-hour opus, SLEEP.
The film plunges deeply into the artist’s life and process, transcending the work to explore his legacy. Personal reflections from Max Richter, and visual archive from his long-term creative partner, the BAFTA winning filmmaker, Yulia Mahr - the co-architect of SLEEP – help build this intimate portrait – along with contributions that illuminate both the science and story behind the work.
Natalie Johns’ ground-breaking visual portrait echoes the contemplative essence of Richter’s work, offering a poetic depiction of the ‘liminal state’ audiences experience when attending a live performance – where fans slumber through the overnight concert in beds, not seats. In his unguarded account, Richter describes the extraordinary composition as ‘writing the music I needed to hear’ - an antidote to the always-on world we inhabit.
Centering around the open-air concert in Los Angeles, as well as footage from Berlin, Sydney and Paris, the film examines the artist’s life and process. Performances of SLEEP require unprecedented endurance from Richter and his small ensemble of musicians and open vulnerability from audiences; strangers drifting in and out of consciousness amongst hundreds of others.
SLEEP is an epic lullaby of music and science, providing respite from the chaos of the modern world – a rare story and an expression of a global community, unified.
Max Richter’s eight-hour SLEEP concert is the live incarnation of his 2015 Deutsche Grammophon album of the same name, which has been hugely successful worldwide – praised by critics and garnering roughly 350 million streams. The landmark piece was premiered in London four years ago (becoming the longest single continuous piece of music ever broadcast live on the radio) and has since been performed around the world in a variety of stunning venues including the Sydney Opera House, Grand Park in Los Angeles, Kraftwerk Berlin, the Philharmonie de Paris and most recently at the Great Wall of China.
Natalie Johns says “The creative intent of Sleep afforded me rare freedom in developing the film’s approach and narrative; an experience that I found truly liberating. I’m thrilled to bring this immersive film to a true film lovers audience at Sundance 2020.”
Producers Julie Jakobek and Stefan Demetriou say: “For Natalie and ourselves to collaborate with Yulia Mahr and Max Richter to realise their unique project Sleep on screen has been an incredibly fulfilling artistic process for all involved. Natalie Johns’ beautiful film manages to somehow convey Yulia and Max’s creative vision, and process, whilst never losing sight of the work’s quiet wonder and global impact. We’re all very honoured to be a part of Sundance 2020 – it feels like a wonderful home for the film.”
EAGLE ROCK FILMS IN ASSOCIATION WITH DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON PRESENT
A JA FILMS AND GLOBE PRODUCTIONS FILM BY NATALIE JOHNS
“MAX RICHTER’S SLEEP” STARRING MAX RICHTER
EDITED BY DOM WHITWORTH, MICHAEL CARTER, MATT CRONIN
MUSIC MIX BY RUPERT COULSON. MUSIC EDITOR TOM BAILEY MUSIC MIX CONSULTANT CHRIS EKERS
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY ELISHA CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER GRACE OLSON
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS CLEMENS TRAUTMANN, DICKON STAINER, DAVID JOSEPH & MARC ROBINSON
PRODUCED BY JULIE JAKOBEK, YULIA MAHR, OUALID MOUANESS & STEFAN DEMETRIOU.
PERSONAL AND PERFORMANCE ARCHIVE BY YULIA MAHR
DIRECTED BY NATALIE JOHNS
Notes to Editors:
About Max Richter
Max Richter stands as one of the most influential figures on the contemporary music scene, producing ground-breaking work as a composer, pianist, recording artist and collaborator. He is best known for his genre-defining solo albums including The Blue Notebooks (named by the Guardian as one of the 25 best classical music works of the 21st Century), Memoryhouse, Songs From Before, Infra, Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works and the eight-hour epic SLEEP. His 2012 record Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons topped the classical charts in 22 countries.
Richter has written widely for ballet, opera, and film. His most recent projects include scoring Hollywood film soundtracks Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt, and director Josie Rourke’s historical drama Mary Queen of Scots. Other works include Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works for The Royal Ballet, Hostiles directed by Scott Cooper, Miss Sloane directed by John Madden, Black Mirror’s ‘Nosedive’ directed by Joe Wright and Taboo for Tom Hardy, which earned him an Emmy nomination. His music is also featured in Damon Lindelof’s HBO series The Leftovers, as well as having his music featured prominently in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir and as the opening and end theme in Denis Villeneuve’s Oscar-winning film Arrival. www.maxrichtermusic.com
About Yulia Mahr
Yulia Mahr is a visual artist and film maker with a background in visual anthropology. She has worked both in the academic field (at the Freie Universitat and Humboldt Universitat in Berlin) and as a practitioner / curator, often in collaboration with her partner Max Richter. Recent and current projects include the Sounds and Visions festival at The Barbican Centre, London; Le Weekend Festival at La Philharmonie de Paris, and the ongoing series of SLEEP performances, latterly in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Amsterdam, Austin, Paris, London and Beijing. Yulia’s numerous films have been shown at Tribeca and Edinburgh film festivals amongst others, and been featured on Arte, WallPaper Magazine, Nowness and Vimeo Staff Picks. She has been awarded a BAFTA. Yulia is creative and visual director of Studio Richter Mahr.
About Natalie Johns
Emmy-nominated and award-winning filmmaker, Johns creates cinematic and compelling films, often where art and music collide with social consciousness. Her first global feature doc “I Am Thalente” won the audience award at the LA Film Festival. Johns received an Emmy nomination in 2015 for Outstanding Directing. Johns has collaborated with the world’s leading musical talent including Bono, Sam Smith, Childish Gambino, Solange, John Legend, and Gil Scott Heron. Max Richter joins this list in her latest feature documentary, ‘Max Richter's Sleep’.
About JA Films
Founded by Julie Jakobek in 2009, JA Films is an independently owned, award-winning, creative-led production company run by executive producer/ producer, Julie Jakobek. JA Films produce compelling and cinematic films and broadcast formats for some of the worlds most iconic artists. Recent titles include concert films and feature documentaries with Coldplay, including the recent hugely admired Coldplay Live in Jordan for YouTube Originals, a cutting edge and technically advanced live stream at sunrise and sunset. JA Films has also produced films and content for Adele, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Goldblum, David Guetta, Tinie Tempah and Emeli Sande and has awards including multiple Grammy nominations in the Best Music Film categories. Though based in London, JA Films has filmed extensively around the world, in addition to the US and Europe, locations have also included Cuba, Lebanon, Australia, Jordan, Armenia, and many others.
About Globe Productions
Globe Productions has produced feature documentaries for Queen, Take That, Paul Weller and Elton John and partnered with Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees’ On The Corner for the Oscar and Bafta-winning AMY. Recent film projects include Kevin Macdonald’s Return To Podor with Mumford & Sons and Baaba Maal, short film On The Nature of Daylight, produced by and starring Elisabeth Moss and featuring the music of Max Richter, and the successful Paul Heaton documentary From Hull To Heatongrad for Channel 4.
About Eagle Rock Entertainment
Eagle Rock Entertainment is the world-leading producer and distributor of music documentary and concert films. Founded in 1997, the multi-award-winning company releases over 50 productions a year and controls the distribution of over 2,000 hours of music programming. The catalogue includes work by award-winning filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Brett Morgan, Stanley Nelson, Paul Dugdale, Bob Smeaton, Jeremy Marre, Mike Figgis, Leslie Woodhead and Michael Epstein. Eagle Rock works with a wide spectrum of artists including the Rolling Stones, Eminem, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Muse, Steven Wilson, Slash, Iggy Pop, Jeff Beck, Paul McCartney, Shania Twain and Van Morrison. Eagle Rock is headquartered in London. The Rolling Stones, Adele, U2 and Ed Sheeran. Awards include two Grammy nominations in the Best Music Film category.
About Deutsche Grammophon
One of the most prestigious names in global classical music since its foundation in 1898, Deutsche Grammophon has always stood for the highest standards of artistry and sound quality. Home to the greatest artists of all time, the famous yellow label is a beacon to which music lovers all over the world look for outstanding musical interpretations, audio recordings and visual productions. Highly dedicated to the development of new repertoire in arts music, Deutsche Grammophon also fosters and promotes a whole range of popular contemporary artists and eminent composers.
Deutsche Grammophon’s current artist roster boasts some of the most distinguished figures in classical and contemporary music today, including Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Elīna Garanča, Hélène Grimaud, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Andris Nelsons, Anna Netrebko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Murray Perahia, Maurizio Pollini, Grigory Sokolov, Bryn Terfel, Daniil Trifonov, Rolando Villazón, Krystian Zimerman as well as Hildur Guðnadóttir, Dustin O’Halloran, Agnes Obel, Víkingur Ólafsson and Max Richter. In addition, the label’s catalogue represents the cultural legacy of whole generations of maestri and features recordings from many of the finest artists in music history, including Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Vladimir Horowitz, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Mstislav Rostropovich as well as Andrés Segovia.