AMAZON STUDIOS ACQUIRES J BALVIN DOCUMENTARY
THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN
The Documentary Follows Renowned International Musician J Balvin and is Directed by Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Matthew Heineman
Culver City, CA — August 31, 2020 — Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman’s The Boy from Medellín, a deep-dive into the life of Colombian-born superstar J Balvin. The Endeavor Content backed feature length documentary is produced by Our Time Projects and SB Projects, and will world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival in September.
The Boy from Medellín gives us unprecedented access to international superstar J Balvin in the lead-up to the biggest concert of his life — a sold-out performance in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia. This deeply immersive and character-driven film, which was made with an international crew in Colombia and New York, provides a look into the most pivotal and emotionally charged moment of one of the world’s biggest stars.
“Representing my country, my city and Latin culture globally is a lifelong pursuit and I’m so proud to be a son of Medellín. I’m honored to be able to tell my story in this beautiful way and working with Matthew on this project was an incredible experience. Thank you to Amazon for making sure this story can be seen around the world”, said J Balvin.
In The Boy from Medellín, Heineman gives audiences a behind-the-scenes view into one of the most game-changing moments of Balvin’s life. While Balvin remains one of the most influential Latin musicians in the world, this stunning film also explores his journey to stardom in the city where it all began.
“The Boy from Medellin is a poignant and transparent snapshot of Latin superstar J Balvin’s journey at such a crucial time in Colombia’s history,” said Javiera Balmaceda, Head of International Originals in Argentina, Chile and Colombia, Amazon Studios. “Filmmaker Matthew Heineman is a master of his craft, and beautifully depicts the perspective of an international music icon. We are thrilled to welcome Matthew back to the Amazon family and to share J Balvin’s story with our global customers.”
“I am excited to partner with Amazon in bringing Jose’s powerful personal story to a global audience,” said Heineman. “While J Balvin is the undeniably talented musical icon behind some of the world’s most popular songs, Jose’s strength and openness in talking about his struggles with mental health drew me to make the film. I was honored that Jose gave us extremely intimate access to this important moment in his life, and the result is a universal story about a man trying to reckon with his place in this world that I hope will resonate with fans and new audiences alike.”
Heineman is an Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, known for his sophisticated and immersive style in films such as City of Ghosts, also released by Amazon Studios, for which he won a DGA Award, A Private War, which earned Heineman a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director from the Directors Guild of America—making Heineman and Martin Scorsese the only filmmakers ever nominated for both narrative and documentary DGA Awards, Cartel Land, which was nominated for an Academy Award® and won three Primetime Emmy Awards, and the docuseries The Trade. Heineman is currently in production on a documentary about COVID-19 and he is set to write and direct Paradise, a narrative adaptation of the true events of the 2018 Paradise Fire, to be distributed by Focus Features.
“Reggaeton’s Global Ambassador” – 4-time Latin Grammy winner J Balvin is now one of the top streaming music artists in the world, regardless of language, and has developed a legion of fans worldwide. Hailed by Billboard as “the biggest breakout act Latin music has seen in many years” and Pitchfork as “the face of modern Reggaeton,” Balvin is leading a second generation of Musica Urbana stars that have propelled Latin music to an unprecedented global embrace. His latest album, Colores, saw both critical acclaim and commercial success. With “Blanco,” “Morado” and “Rojo” going #1, J Balvin became the artist with the most #1-songs on the Latin Airplay charts in history, with 24 of his songs earning that spot over the course of his career. With his music and impact on the culture, Balvin has cemented himself as not only a leader of Reggaeton but as a torchbearer of the new state of Latin music by continuously expanding the limits of the genre and paving the way for “la nueva escuela”.
From Our Time Projects, producers are Heineman, Juan Camilo Cruz, Myles Estey and Joedan Okun. Executive Producers are Scooter Braun, Allison Kaye, Scott Manson and Jennifer McDaniels on behalf of SB Projects, Fabio Acosta, José Álvaro Osorio Balvín, Jenna Millman and Juan Diego Villegas.
Endeavor Content fully financed the documentary and handled worldwide sales on the picture.
About Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios is the home for talent, creating and producing original films and television series for a global audience. Original series all premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, which is available in over 200 countries and territories. Recent hit Amazon Original series include the Emmy Award-winning comedies Fleabag, created by and starring Emmy Award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Emmy Award-winners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, as well as the action thriller drama Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan starring John Krasinski, the irreverent superhero series The Boys, and fantasy drama Carnival Row starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne; Amazon Originals also include culturally relevant and buzzed about content such as Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty music and fashion event, Donald Glover’s Guava Island and Chasing Happiness, a documentary about pop superstars the Jonas Brothers.
In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and exclusively for Amazon Prime Video. In 2017, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman. Recent Amazon original movies include Troop Zero starring Viola Davis and Allison Janney, Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, Scott Z. Burns’ The Report, Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy and the Academy Award nominated Les Misérables directed by Ladj Ly. The 2020 slate include Troop Zero with Viola Davis and Allison Janney, family comedy My Spy starring Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman, Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive starring Rosamund Pike, Chemical Hearts starring Lili Reinhart, Garrett Bradley’s Time, Sound of Metal starring Riz Ahmed, Sylvie’s Love with Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, Alan Ball’s Uncle Frank with Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis, I’m Your Woman starring and produced by Rachel Brosnahan and more. In addition, the originals film slate includes a number of diverse first-time feature filmmakers – Blow the Man Down directed by Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole, Selah and The Spades from director Tayarisha Poe, The Vast of Nightdirected by Andrew Patterson and 7500 directed by Patrick Vollrath.
About Our Time Projects
Our Time Projects is a New York-based production company founded in 2009 by Matthew Heineman, an Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. Heineman recently received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director from the Directors Guild of America for his narrative debut A PRIVATE WAR—making Heineman and Martin Scorsese the only filmmakers ever nominated for both narrative and documentary DGA Awards. He previously directed the documentary CARTEL LAND, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Primetime Emmy Awards; CITY OF GHOSTS, for which he won a DGA Award; and the docuseries THE TRADE, which was honored by the International Documentary Association as the Best Episodic Series of 2018. Heineman is currently in production on a documentary about COVID-19 and he is set to write and direct PARADISE, a narrative adaptation of the true events of the 2018 Paradise Fire, to be distributed by Focus Features.
About SB Projects
Founded by Scooter Braun, SB Projects is a diversified entertainment and media company with ventures at the intersection of music, film, technology, brands, culture, and social good. In addition to managing a roster of some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, J Balvin, Idina Minzel, Demi Lovato, Ashley Graham and Tori Kelly, SB Projects has grown their film and television division to include a robust slate of projects including the FX Network’s most watched comedy series “Dave,” YouTube’s record breaking docuseries “Justin Bieber: Seasons,” CBS’ “Scorpion,” “The Giver,” and “Never Say Never,” which remains one of the highest grossing music documentaries in domestic box-office history. The company also has several projects in active development including “The Undesirables” comedy series and Untitled Lady Macbeth musical feature both for Amazon Studios, “Anna K” for HBOMax, an untitled K-Pop film for 20th Century Studios and “A Taste of Power” among others. In addition, SB Projects recently signed a multi-year, first-look television deal with Amazon Studios to develop scripted and unscripted projects. Through his media and entertainment holding company Ithaca Holdings LLC., Braun also co-founded Mythos Studios with Marvel Studios’ Founding Chairman David Maisel.
About Endeavor Content
Endeavor Content is a global leader in the development, financing and sales of premium film, television, theater and audio content. Endeavor Content seeks to facilitate more ownership and creative freedom for artists, creators and production companies in an ever-evolving media landscape. Endeavor Content is a division of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.