The Oscar-nominated director of Precious and The Butler is preparing his first foray into non-fiction features with White Horse Pictures and Piper Cub Productions on board to produce.

Lee Daniels

The Apollo Theater Film Project will be an authorised account of the Harlem venue that famously started the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald and The Jackson Five.

Daniels and Apollo Theater president Jonelle Procope issued on Thursday a public request for film footage, home movies, photographs or other memorabilia.

“We will, of course, respect everybody’s ownership of their property,” said Daniels, who said he attended the theater in his youth, and Procope. Members of the public can click here for further information.

Impact Partners, StudioCanal, Universal Music Group and Chicago Media Project are jointly financing the film, while StudioCanal, Impact Partners and White Horse Pictures represent US rights. 

StudioCanal will distribute directly in the UK, Australia, France and Germany and is looking to commence sales on remaining territories in Cannes.  

White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair is producing with White Horse Pictures director of features and head of documentaries Jeanne Elfant Festa under her Piper Cub Productions label.

Impact’s Dan Cogan and Geralyn Dreyfous, StudioCanal chairman and CEO Didier Lupfer and evp of international production and acquisitions Ron Halpern serve as executive producers. 

White Horse head of production Nicholas Ferrall, Matt Jackson, Chicago Media Project co-founders Steve Cohen and Paula Froehle, and Ken Pelletier, Dave Knott and Procope are also on the executive producer roster.

Universal Music Group will curate the music and Apollo Theater and Bert Marcus Productions will present the project. Cassidy Hartmann of White Horse Pictures is writing the project with Mark Monroe and Shola Lynch.

White Horse’s slate includes Ron Howard’s fully authorised Untitled Beatles Documentary, currently in post-production, and the newly announced Roman Empire drama, Emperor