Documentary features Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Katy Perry, and Earth, Wind & Fire


NEW YORK (June 3, 2021) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all worldwide rights to the documentary JAZZ FEST: A NEW ORLEANS STORY co-directed by five-time Academy Award® nominee Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern (Finding Oscar).  The documentary is produced by Marshall, Suffern and Sean Stuart (The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash), executive produced by Quint Davis and Jimmy Buffett and features artists Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Katy Perry, Earth, Wind & Fire, and many others.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, aka “Jazz Fest,” is the signature annual music and cultural event of the city and has been called America’s greatest festival. Celebrating the music, food, and arts and crafts of all of Louisiana since 1970, Jazz Fest is an essential showcase of the rich heritage of the region, and hundreds of thousands attend the event each year. Local music heroes are joined on 14 stages by some of the most important figures in entertainment, highlighting the connections between Louisiana culture and the world.

JAZZ FEST: A NEW ORLEANS STORY weaves together live performances and interviews from the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival, featuring some of the biggest names in the music industry, along with a wealth of archival documentary footage from the past half century. This film not only captures the Festival in all of its beauty and glory, but also delves deep into the rich culture of The Big Easy.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., is the nonprofit organization that owns the Festival. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell is a co-production of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans and AEG Presents.

Marshall said, "We're thrilled to be partnering with Sony Pictures Classics to bring JAZZ FEST to the big screen. With everything we've gone through this past year, our hope is that this documentary, celebrating one of the greatest music festivals in the world, will bring some much-needed joy and happiness to

audiences everywhere."

“JAZZ FEST: A NEW ORLEANS STORY is a masterpiece of storytelling, and joy. The Kennedy Marshall team has captured—as never seen before—the spirit, passion, and fun of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, while documenting the creation of the Festival with founder George Wein," said Davis.

The deal was negotiated with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.


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 181 Academy Award® nominations (155 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.


Established in 1991 by veteran producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, The Kennedy/Marshall Company is behind award-winning films like THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, LINCOLN, AND SULLY as well as blockbuster franchises like JURASSIC WORLD and JASON BOURNE. In 2012, the Documentary Division led by Ryan Suffern, was created to tell non-fiction stories with the same passion and expertise. Past projects include SINATRA: ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL (HBO), FINDING OSCAR (Amazon), THE CHINA HUSTLE (Magnolia), SATAN & ADAM (Netflix), THE GIFT: THE JOURNEY OF JOHNNY CASH (YouTube), the Emmy-nominated docuseries LAUREL CANYON: A PLACE IN TIME (EPIX), and most recently THE BEE GEES: HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART (HBO).


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 and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit   

For further information: Sheri Goldberg (646) 723-3800 Bebe Lerner (323) 822-4800