Hitsville: The Making of Motown received its European premiere September 23 in London, attended by Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam and the film’s directors, Ben and Gabe Turner, among others.
The documentary will be seen in cinemas across the U.K. from September 30, in tandem with a 60-track Motown Greatest Hits compilation released in digital formats as well as CD and vinyl configurations. The soundtrack to the movie is also available. See the trailer here.
Habtemariam introduced Hitsville: The Making of Motown to an invitation-only audience at London’s Odeon Luxe cinema in the capital’s Leicester Square, with the Turner brothers and producer Leo Pearlman.
The film focuses on the legendary company’s development, growth and success from its birth in Detroit in 1959 to its move west to Los Angeles in 1972. It is the first such documentary made with the active participation of Motown founder Berry Gordy, drawing upon material from his personal archives, among many other sources.
The film includes new interviews with Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and onetime Motown A&R chief Mickey Stevenson, as well as with the Supremes’ Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, the Temptations’ Otis Williams, the Four Tops’ Duke Fakir, the Miracles’ Claudette Robinson and songwriters Eddie and Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Valerie Simpson.