FilmRise Acquires The Worldwide Rights To The Moody And Evocative Musical Documentary “I Called Him Morgan”

February 3, 2017 — FilmRise has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to I Called Him Morgan, the acclaimed documentary about the brilliant, troubled and doomed be-bop trumpeter Lee Morgan.

The film was directed by Kasper Collin; the cinematographer, Bradford Young, recently received an Academy Award® nomination for his work on the film Arrival.

Lee Morgan’s rise to fame came early. He played with John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey as a teenager. Although he was considered to have been one of the most talented trumpeters of the Be-Bop era, as he became seriously addicted to heroin, his work became more erratic. At the age of 33 he would be shot to death by his common law wife, Helen, who tried desperately to wean him off of drugs. 

She would serve time in prison for the shooting. An interview Helen Morgan gave after her release from prison and shortly before her death serves as the focus of the film. 

Variety said of the film, “The visuals contend with the music for start status in Kasper Collin’s moody, fascinating documentary study of the late jazzman Lee Morgan. …Kasper Collin’s excellent documentary “I Called Him Morgan,” a sleek, sorrowful elegy for the prodigiously gifted, tragically slain bop trumpeter Lee Morgan, is as much a visual and textural triumph as it is a gripping feat of reportage. Binding its charismatic gallery of talking heads with woozy, moody evocations of Morgan’s New York City — courtesy of ravishing 16mm lensing by the ingenious cinematographer Bradford Young — Collin’s film is most moving when it delves past the expected struggles with fame, creation and addiction to etch the unusual, affectionate and finally fatal relationship between Morgan and his common-law wife Helen.”

FilmRise, in partnership with Submarine Deluxe, plans a theatrical release for the film.

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