Directed by Emmy-Winning Filmmaker Rudy Valdez; Executive Produced by Academy Award-Winning Producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
New York and Los Angeles – May 20, 2022 – Imagine Documentaries and Sony Music Entertainment have joined forces to produce and finance the definitive feature-length documentary film about the father of Latin American jazz fusion and global icon, Carlos Santana, the companies announced today. Featuring never-before-seen or heard archival footage and music, the film will offer an intimate and exhilarating look inside the mind of an elemental force of contemporary music and tell the incredible story of Santana’s life – from a fourteen-year-old street musician to a ten-time Grammy-winning and three-time Latin Grammy-winning global sensation.
The project is currently in production and being directed by Emmy Award-winning Mexican-American filmmaker Rudy Valdez (The Sentence, We Are: The Brooklyn Saints), produced by Imagine Documentaries’ Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes along with Lizz Morhaim (Rebuilding Paradise) and executive produced by Academy Award-winning producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Leopoldo Gout (Molly’s Game), Ashley Kahn (Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool), and Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI) also serve as Producers. Meredith Kaulfers is the Co-Executive Producer for Imagine Documentaries and Michael Vrionis serves as an Executive Producer. Tom Mackay and Richard Story are Executive Producers for Sony Music Entertainment.
The film is being co-financed and distributed through Sony Music Entertainment.
“I am honored and grateful to have partnered with Imagine Documentaries and Sony Music to bring my story to light. Director Rudy Valdez, along with Ron, Brian, Justin and Sara have embraced this journey, which is one of triumph and adventurousness. The intentionality of this film is to touch people’s hearts and to inspire people to re-connect with their own light that they may ignite blessings and miracles,” said Santana.
“We’re thrilled that Carlos has entrusted us with bringing his incredibly inspirational story to life in this film,” said Imagine’s Justin Wilkes. “He is one of the greatest musicians of all time, and throughout his career, Santana has unapologetically broken-down borders and reinvented a tone universally celebrated across the globe. Collaborating with Rudy Valdez again is an honor and we are excited for him to take us on a journey with Santana.
“From rock ‘n’ roll to Latin American jazz, Carlos Santana’s pioneering vision and artistry have influenced generations of fans across so many genres of music,” said Tom Mackay, President, Premium Content, Sony Music Entertainment. “Through this new project in partnership with Imagine Entertainment, we look forward to showcasing the breadth and lasting impact of his story for audiences globally.”
“I am completely humbled by the opportunity to tell the Carlos Santana story with the
amazing teams at Imagine and Sony Music,” said Valdez. “Taking this journey with Carlos has been inspiring. As historic a life that Carlos Santana has lived, he continually reminds us that greatness lives within us all and I can’t wait to share this story with the world.”
For over four decades – from his earliest days as a groundbreaking Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion outfit in San Francisco – Carlos Santana’s artistry has transcended generational and geographical boundaries. Through intimate and exclusive access to Santana, the documentary will chart the birth of an entirely original sound and visionary force that fuses cultures, blends genres, and defies stereotypes. The film is as much of a celebration of the past as it is an inspiration for the future – prompting generations to continually breed genres that shatter systemic ceilings.
Santana has won ten Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys, with a record-tying nine Grammys for a single project for 1999’s Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”). He has received the Billboard Century Award (1996), was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1998), received the Billboard Latin Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement honor (2009), and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2013). Among many other distinctions, Carlos Santana has been cited by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time;” and has joined the Rolling Stones as one of only two bands to have an album reach the Top 10 in every decade since the 1960s. In 2018, he released his first MasterClass, and recently celebrated three epic milestones – the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking album Supernatural, the 50th anniversary of his legendary performance at Woodstock, and the 50th anniversary of his masterpiece Abraxas. His most recent album, the powerful, energy-infused Blessings and Miracles (2021) features collaborations with Rob Thomas, Chris Stapleton, Steve Winwood, and many others.