20 Feet from Stardom

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20 Feet from Stardom
Twenty Feet From Stardom poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Morgan Neville
Produced by Gil Friesen
Caitrin Rogers
Starring Darlene Love
Judith Hill
Merry Clayton
Lisa Fischer
Táta Vega
Jo Lawry
Music by Various Artists
Cinematography Graham Willoughby
Nicola Marsh
Edited by Jason Zeldes
Kevin Klauber
Doug Blush
Tremolo Productions
Gil Friesen Productions
Distributed by RADiUS-TWC
Release dates
  • January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) (Sundance)
  • June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1 million
Box office $5,220,487[2]

20 Feet from Stardom is a 2013 American documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville[3] and was produced by Gil Friesen, a music industry executive whose curiosity to know more about the lives of background singers inspired the making of the film.[4]

The film follows the behind-the-scenes of backup singers and stars Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry, among many others. On March 2, 2014, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.


Archive footage


On January 17, 2013, the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. At Sundance, the film was acquired by Radius-The Weinstein Company and was released nationwide on June 14, 2013.[5] The film was also acquired for international distribution by Elle Driver / Wild Bunch.[6] The film has screened at many film festivals in 2013 including South by Southwest Film Festival, True/False Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Philadelphia Music Film Festival, RiverRun Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, among others.[7][8][9][10][11]


20 Feet from Stardom received nearly universal positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 99% approval rating with an average rating of 8.1/10 based on 110 reviews.[12] Metacritic gave the film 83/100 based on 24 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim".[13]

The film was a box office success, grossing $4,834,823 in the domestic box office and $385,664 internationally for a worldwide total of $5,220,487.[2]

The film was compared to the 2012 book The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret, which focused on uncredited studio musicians in the same era, in a review.[14]


At the 86th Academy Awards, it won the award for best documentary.[15] At the 19th Critics' Choice Awards, it also won the Best Documentary Film award.[16] At the 2015 Grammy Awards, it has been nominated for Best Music Film.


  1. ^ "20 FEET FROM STARDOM (12A)". Altitude Film Distribution. British Board of Film Classification. January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "20 Feet from Stardom". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ Caplan, B. (March 13, 2013). "Twenty Feet From Stardom Director Morgan Neville on His Own 'Cinderella Moment'". Miami New Times. 
  4. ^ Van Syckle, Katie (January 28, 2013). "Backup Singer Documentary 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' Set for Summer Release". Rolling Stone. 
  5. ^ Lee, Stephan. "MOVIE PREVIEW Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike. "Elle Driver Buys Foreign On 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "20 Feet from Stardom". Metacritic. June 14, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ Lowe, Justin (January 18, 2013). "Twenty Feet From Stardom". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ 20 Feet from Stardom at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ Debruge, Peter (January 18, 2013). "Twenty Feet from Stardom". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Google search". Google. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ "20 Feet From Stardom (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ "20 Feet from Stardom Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ VanCampen, Bryan (January 30, 2014). "Review: 20 Feet From Stardom". Ithaca.com. 
  15. ^ "Oscars 2014: live". Daily Telegraph. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Gravity tops Critics' Choice Movie Awards with seven wins". Guardian UK. 17 March 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]