Giving Voice by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jonathon Narducci.
Giving Voice by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jonathon Narducci.

Netflix dropped the official trailer for the documentary Giving Voice, featuring the original song, “Never Break” from John Legend. Directed by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, the documentary – winner of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival Favorite Award – will be released on December 11, 2020.

A new generation of performers is discovered in “Giving Voice,” which follows the emotional journey of six students as they advance through the high-stakes August Wilson Monologue Competition, an event which celebrates one of America’s preeminent playwrights. Every year, thousands of students from twelve cities across the United States perform the Pulitzer Prize winner’s work (“Fences,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) for a shot to perform on Broadway.

Directors Jim Stern and Fernando Villena capture students discovering themselves and the world around them through Wilson’s “Century Cycle,” a canon of ten plays portraying the 20th century African American experience. Executive producer Viola Davis, along with “Fences” co-star Denzel Washington, share the impact that Wilson’s timeless artistry and legacy has had on their careers and their hopes for the young people carrying it forward.

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