Showtime To Release Eric Clapton: A Life In 12 Bars

Director Lili Fini Zanuck has announced that Eric Clapton: A Life In 12 Bars will be distributed in North America by Showtime Documentary Films. Later this year, it will be shown at domestic and international film festivals followed by a U.S. and Canadian theatrical run. In 2018, it will be televised on Showtime.

UK and international distribution will be handled by Altitude Films; no theatrical or broadcast details were announced.

Fini Zanuck, who announced the film on February 3, said Clapton’s “music is the foundation of our film. His commitment to the blues, its traditions and originators, is absolute from his earliest days. He was also forever restless in his search of a suitable vehicle to shape and grow his artistic voice, often bewildering fans and the media with sudden changes in musical direction, bands, songs, guitar style, tone and physical appearance.”

The documentary will also delve into his personal life, which is the film’s emotional spine, according to Zanuck. She said it follows Clapton’s traumatic childhood through the successes of his musical career, the death of his young son in 1991, and the personal happiness he found as a family man a decade later.

She concluded, “It is indeed a melancholic victory lap, full of nostalgic myth, but always musically potent, always looking to the future. Despite the fact that his path is strewn with tragedies, addiction and loss, he never fails to regain his bearings and continue to serve what he holds dearest: his music.”

The team behind Eric Clapton: A Life In 12 Bars had unprecedented access to an archive of classic performance clips, on- and off-stage footage, photos, concert posters as well as the musician’s handwritten letters, drawings and diary entries. It features extensive interviews with Clapton, along with family, friends, musical collaborators, contemporaries and heroes — including late music icons B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison.

The film will be edited by Chris King, known for his work on the documentaries Senna (2010) and Amy (2015). John Battsek of Passion Pictures will produce.

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