FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Worldwide Rights To Feature Documentary ‘Carlos’ On Legendary Musician Carlos Santana From Imagine Documentaries And Sony Music Entertainment
NEW YORK (April 26, 2023) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today they have acquired worldwide rights to CARLOS, a feature-length documentary film about the father of Latin American jazz fusion and global icon, Carlos Santana, directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rudy Valdez (THE SENTENCE, WE ARE: THE BROOKLYN SAINTS.)
Jointly financed by Imagine Documentaries and Sony Music Entertainment, CARLOS is produced by Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes along with Lizz Morhaim and executive produced by Academy Award-winning producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Imagine Documentaries. Leopoldo Gout, Ashley Kahn and Sam Pollard also serve as Producers. Meredith Kaulfers is the Co-Executive Producer for Imagine Documentaries and Michael Vrionis serves as an Executive Producer. Tom Mackay and Richard Story are Executive Producers for Sony Music Entertainment.
Featuring never-before-seen or heard archival footage and music, the film offers an intimate and exhilarating look inside the mind of an elemental force of contemporary music and tell the incredible story of Santana’s life – from a fourteen-year-old street musician to a ten-time Grammy-winning and three-time Latin Grammy-winning global sensation.
“Rudy Valdez’s CARLOS showcases the genius behind the musical sensation that has led Carlos Santana’s music to resonate with global audiences across multiple generations. We are so pleased to partner with our friends at Imagine Documentaries and Sony Music Entertainment to help share Carlos' remarkable story that is as complex, lively, and inspiring as his music,” said Sony Pictures Classics.
“Imagine is thrilled to bring the band back together and reunite with our partners at SPC on this magical journey with the legendary Carlos Santana and our director Rudy Valdez. There isn’t a better team to inspire the world with Carlos’ extraordinary life,” added Sara Bernstein, President of Imagine Documentaries.
“We are beyond excited to be joining forces with Sony Pictures Classics to bring CARLOS to the big screen. Our incredible partners, Rudy Valdez and Imagine, have created a stunningly beautiful portrait of Carlos Santana that captures his singular artistry and spirit. We can’t wait to share his story with audiences around the world.” said Krista Wegener, Executive Vice President, Premium Content Development, Sales and Distribution, Sony Music Entertainment
Carlos Santana has won ten Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys, with a record-tying nine Grammys for a single project for 1999’s Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”). He has received the Billboard Century Award (1996), was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1998), received the Billboard Latin Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement honor (2009), and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2013). Among many other distinctions, Carlos Santana has been cited by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time;” and has joined the Rolling Stones as one of only two bands to have an album reach the Top 10 in every decade since the 1960s. In 2018, he released his first MasterClass, and recently celebrated three epic milestones - the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking album Supernatural, the 50th anniversary of his legendary performance at Woodstock, and the 50th anniversary of his masterpiece Abraxas. His most recent album, the powerful, energy-infused Blessings and Miracles (2021) features collaborations with Rob Thomas, Chris Stapleton, Steve Winwood, and many others.
Rudy Valdez shared, "I am honored and humbled to tell Carlos Santana's story as a director. Carlos is a true trailblazer who has meant so much to so many people. My hope is that this film is a celebration of a life defined by humanity. It was incredibly impactful to see someone who looks like me blow up the boundaries and expectations the world had placed on him as a Mexican immigrant and person of color, and I'm thrilled to be putting this story out into the world. I am also immensely grateful for the amazing team at Imagine Documentaries and Sony, who surrounded me through the entire process and helped me see this vision through. The film could not have found a better distribution partner than Sony Pictures Classics. In their hands the film will have the opportunity to reach the masses and ensure as many people as possible get a chance to experience Carlos' magic."
"It is an honor to share the story of one of the World’s Most Iconic Musicians, Carlos Santana. His triumphant journey is the must-see event of the year. Partnering with Imagine Documentaries, Sony Music and Sony Pictures Classics was the perfect fit to tell this unbelievable story of victory and high consciousness," stated Michael Vrionis, Executive Producer and President of Universal Tone Management.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992—which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world. Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 41 Academy Awards® (37 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 186 Academy Award® nominations (160 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for THE FATHER, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, WHIPLASH, AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services. http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.