Pioneering Brazilian producer, composer, keyboardist, vocalist and Oscar-nominated songwriter Sergio Mendes will be the subject of a new feature documentary by Emmy, Grammy and Writers Guild Award nominee John Scheinfeld. Scheduled for worldwide release in 2018, the documentary will coincide with the release of a companion album on Concord Records which features a host of high-profile guests with several tracks co-produced by Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am.
Employing a fresh and unique cinematic approach, this portrait of a remarkable artist celebrates the life of a singular musician who remains as vital and relevant today as 50 years ago when he exploded on the scene with his group, Brasil ‘66. One of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time, Mendes is a three-time Grammy Award winner and has recorded more than 35 albums, many of which went gold or platinum. Hit singles include “Mas que Nada,” “The Look of Love,” “Pretty World,” “Never Gonna Let You Go” and his unforgettable renditions of “Night and Day,” “Fool on the Hill,” “Scarborough Fair” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” His enormous influence on the music industry endures even today as he continues to evolve through new collaborations and mediums.
“I am really looking forward to this new adventure,” says Mendes. “It’s a wonderful chance to ‘relive’ my journey, and, with John Scheinfeld at the helm, I’m sure it will be a joyful and thrilling experience.”
“When I first met Sergio, his warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” says director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”
“The impetus for the documentary and new companion album was the recent 50th anniversary of the release of Brasil ‘66,” says Concord Records President John Burk. “With Brasil ‘66, Sergio played a huge role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop. He then continued to produce hits, decade after decade, staying current and relevant while staying true to his unique sound. Sergio also had an incredible career and has a fascinating story that we’d like to tell through these projects.”
By examining the musical innovations and exceptional creativity that brought him to the forefront, the documentary explores how Mendes has consistently been able to reinvent himself and remains a significant world music artist to this day. The film will also shine a light on the global impact of his music from 1966 to the present, with a particular emphasis on his continuing popularity in the USA, Brazil, Japan and Europe and how his work has inspired such artists such as will.i.am, Justin Timberlake and John Legend.
A significant portion of the film will be shot on location in Brazil, including a tour of Niterói, his hometown, and nearby Rio itself, including an intimate performance in the “Bossa Rio” musical style that brought him to prominence as a young musician in Brazil.
With Sergio telling much of his story in his own words, Scheinfeld will paint a rich, entertaining and revelatory portrait of an extraordinary artist, bringing added emotion and intimacy to the story incorporating dozens of recordings from every phase of Sergio’s career, as well as rare or never-before seen film clips, home movies and photos from the Mendes family album.
Compelling interviews with music superstars who have been inspired by Sergio, as well as with family, friends and colleagues will contribute unique perspectives on the music, the man and his on-going journey and will deepen the emotional resonance of the finished film.
Even after 50 years, Sergio Mendes is still looking forward.