A&E Network greenlights “Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard” (wt) as first official documentary in association with his estate
Produced by Pulse Films and Four Screens, the definitive documentary is directed by award-winning director Sam Pollard and his son Jason Pollard and will premiere in 2023
A&E Network has greenlit the two-hour documentary “Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard” (wt) which will be the first official feature documentary about the Grammy-nominated musician and legendary founding member of the iconic hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. Born Russell Jones in 1968 in Brooklyn, NY, ODB developed a unique persona and rhyme style that set him apart from his contemporaries. In his short 35 years of life and long after his passing, ODB has had a significant influence on a whole generation of fans and performers. With exclusive rights to a never-before-seen personal archive shot by his wife, Icelene Jones, and access to his closest friends and family, this culture-defining special humanizes ODB as a man, a father, and a husband like never before. This definitive documentary is co-directed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Director Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI, Black Art: In The Absence of Light) alongside his son Jason Pollard (Get Me Roger Stone, Bitchin’ The Sound and Fury of Rick James) providing an intimate picture of ODB’s life and reflecting on his lasting impact on music and culture.
Produced by Pulse Films (Apple TV+’s Beastie Boys Story, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, and Katy Perry’s Part of Me) with Four Screens and the Ol’ Dirty Bastard Estate, the documentary will center on ODB’s solo career, from his first album release in 1995 until his untimely passing from a drug overdose in 2004. Charting his meteoric rise and heart-breaking fall, the film will interweave this modern narrative with looks back at his trauma-filled childhood to examine how it influenced the man and artist he would become. A celebration of his artistry and legacy, the documentary is an unflinching look at the complexities of his life including addiction, adultery, fame, mental illness, sudden wealth, race and criminal justice, and will ask the question of just how complicit the media and music industry were in hastening his demise.
“I am thrilled to tell the full story of my husband. With this documentary the world will learn about the son, the husband, the father, and the artist,” said Icelene Jones. “I’m proud of the team that we built, including Pulse, my producing partners Nicole Beckett and Messiah Jacobs at Four Screens, and our directing team, the Pollards.”
“A&E continues to be an industry leader in definitive documentary storytelling,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E. “‘Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard’ will present viewers with the untold story of the man and the musician who made an immense cultural impact across just a few short years.”
“At Pulse Films, we are passionate about making music documentaries that tell intimate, and unique stories about the world’s most iconic artists,” commented Sam Bridger, Executive Producer for Pulse Films. “ODB completely redefined what it meant to be an MC. A genius who lived and breathed his art. We are thrilled to have Sam and Jason Pollard on board, who are the perfect filmmakers to tell this amazing story for the first time. There will never be anyone quite like ODB and we are so grateful to his family and friends of for inviting us into his world.”
“Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard” (wt) is produced by Pulse Films and Four Screens for A&E Network. The film will be directed by Sam Pollard and Jason Pollard. Sam Bridger and Diene Pettrle serve as executive producers and Louis Mole serves as producer for Pulse Films. Messiah Jacobs, Nicole Beckett and Icelene Jones will serve as the executive producers representing Four Screens and the Ol’ Dirty Bastard Estate. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as executive producers for A&E Network. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for “Biography: Ol’ Dirty Bastard”.
About A&E Network
A&E leads the cultural conversation through high-quality, original programming that captivates viewers and brings them to the heart of the stories that matter. Through its distinctive brand of award-winning non-fiction and documentary programming, A&E always makes entertainment an art. For more press information and photography, press.aenetworks.com
About Pulse Films
Pulse Films is an award-winning, independent, modern-day studio encompassing the development, production, financing and distribution of cross-platform content for audiences worldwide. Founded in 2005 by Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford, the studio is headquartered in London with outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Berlin and Milan. Dedicated to creating moments of culture through innovative storytelling, Pulse Films operates under the following divisions: Scripted, Non-Fiction, Commercials and Music Videos.
Pulse Films’ television projects include the record-breaking, critically acclaimed series and BAFTA-nominated Gangs of London for Sky Atlantic and AMC; the Apple TV+ Beastie Boys Story, directed by Spike Jonze, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards; Sundance Film Festival 2022 music documentary hit Meet Me in the Bathroom, Broadcast Award nominee, Hairpower Me & My Afro, and renowned documentaries The Disappearance of Madeleine Mccann, and Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator for Netflix. The studios feature film credits include Pig starring Academy Award-winner Nicholas Cage, Mogul Mowgli starring Academy Award-nominated Riz Ahmed, which is nominated for Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards.
The highly decorated studio regularly features in the top 3 of Televisual’s 100 Production Survey and in 2020 was awarded Production Company of the Year by British Arrows and Shots, then again by Campaign in 2021. Pulse Films won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Nature Documentary for its feature doc Trophy, and received two Grierson Awards for documentary Kingdom of Us. The studio also produced Cannes Jury Prize winner and BAFTA-nominated American Honey.
Pulse Film is also behind culturally defining and award-winning music films which includes Beyoncé’s Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning film Lemonade, Nick Cave’s BAFTA-nominated 20,000 Days on Earth, LCD Soundsystem’s Shut Up and Play the Hits, and London Film Festival hit Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records.
About the Estate of ODB
The Estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, managed by Four Screens is dedicated to promoting the legacy of a Platinum Recording Artist and unique American hip hop icon. Ol’ Dirty Bastard was a founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, a rap group that first rose to mainstream prominence with their 1993 debut album ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’. After establishing the Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard went on to pursue a successful solo career, working with musicians such as Mariah Carey, Kelis, Pras, Mya, and Wyclef Jean. His solo albums include ’36 Chambers: The Dirty Version’ and ‘N***a Please’.
About Four Screens
Four Screens is a production and management company that is on a mission to bring lasting diversity and inclusion to Hollywood. With two decades of experience Four Screen’s knowledge of entertainment, branding and licensing allows them to navigate the industry and close deals. Four Screens has managed the legacy brand the Estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard for 10 years, creating licensing and production deals for the legendary rapper.