[10/03/05 - 12:00 AM]
And the Beat Goes on with 'VH1 Rock Docs'

[via press release from VH1]

And the Beat Goes on With 'VH1 Rock Docs'

'The U.S. vs. John Lennon,' 'The Last Days of Lisa Lopes,' 'DMC: The Real Me,' and a Four-Hour Definitive History of Heavy Metal Lead the List of VH1's All New Franchise of Music-Based Documentaries

NEW YORK, Oct. 3 -- VH1 will launch "VH1 Rock Docs," an all new slate of high-end feature-length programs in 2006. Each of the docs will reveal an untold story in the history of rock and hip-hop music, combining never-before-seen footage with a unique and unconventional narrative approach. The documentaries will tell some of the most unique stories of the artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles, and musical perspectives. The "VH1 Rock Docs" slated for premiere in 2006 include "The U.S. vs. John Lennon," "The Last Days of Lisa Lopes," "DMC: The Real Me," and a four-hour definitive history of heavy metal. Additional documentaries will be announced shortly.

"This new franchise is a living dynamic visual history of some of the most important artists and movements in popular music," said Brian Graden, President of Entertainment, VH1 and MTV. "By tapping into the sounds of each decade and creating unique ways to tell these stories, we're confirming our commitment to being the destination for adults who are passionate about music."

"John Lennon, Run DMC, and TLC were the voice of their generations. The music that sprung from them defined whole decades," said Michael Hirschorn, Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, VH1. "This kind of filmmaking is important to our viewers and important to VH1."

The U.S. vs. John Lennon

"The U.S. vs. John Lennon" is set for a theatrical release in 2006 through Lions Gate Films. The film, co-produced with Lions Gate Films (http://www.lgf.com) and LSL Productions (http://www.lslproductions.com), tells the story of John Lennon's transformation from beloved musical artist to anti-war activist to iconic inspiration for peace, and recounts the story of the U.S. Government's efforts to deport him. This feature-length documentary, by filmmakers David Leaf and John Scheinfeld, has the support and cooperation of Yoko Ono. The film covers the period of 1966-1976 and includes rare and unique audio/visual archival material. "The U.S. vs. John Lennon," will also show that this was not just an isolated episode in American history, but that the issues and struggles of that era remain relevant today. Most recently, Leaf wrote and directed "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE and Scheinfeld" wrote and directed the just-completed "Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)."

The Last Days of Lisa Lopes

Produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Lauren Lazin, this documentary filled with exclusive and never before seen footage captures the final month in the life of Lisa Lopes, who was killed three years ago in a tragic car accident. Charismatic and complex, Lopes rose to fame as the hip-hop voice of TLC, the best-selling R&B group of all time. She documented her final days in journals and private home movies shot at her spiritual retreat deep in the jungle of Honduras. During this month Lisa reflected on her triumphs and mistakes with an eye towards the spiritual transformation she so desperately sought. What emerges is an intimate and surprising journey into the soul of a beautiful, talented and still-provocative artist.

DMC: The Real Me (title tbd)

Three years ago, hip-hop pioneer and Run-DMC co-founder Darryl McDaniels made a startling discovery: he found out he was adopted, and that his birth mother was of Dominican descent. Suddenly everything he thought he knew about himself was wrong. The event triggered an existential crisis and a search for his true identity. It also led to a spiritual awakening -- a transformation, as he says, from 'B-Boy' to 'B-Man.' Now DMC takes the next logical step in his journey of self-discovery: he attempts to track down the family he never knew he had.

Heavy: The Story of Metal (title tbd)

What Ken Burns did for jazz, VH1 does for heavy metal -- only a lot louder. This four-part documentary traces the evolution of heavy metal music and culture from Black Sabbath to White Zombie, from Led Zep to Def Lep, from Motorhead to Mastodon. In the same vein as VH1's critically acclaimed 2004 hip-hop chronicle, "And You Don't Stop," this documentary series will use interviews, verite moments and vintage footage to bring metal's history to life, told from the perspective of the musicians, promoters, writers and fans who have kept metal's flame alive for four decades.

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 87 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, VH Uno, VH1 Mega Hits and VH1 Country. Connect with VH1 at http://www.VH1.com.

VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.

Web Site: http://www.vh1.com http://www.lslproductions.com http://www.lgf.com

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