Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi’s Significant Productions
Teams Up with Decoder Media and Executive Producer Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean
For Docuseries Premiering on EPIX Fall 2020
New York, NY – July 20, 2020 – Premium television network EPIX® announced today the greenlight of By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem, a docuseries inspired by the music and subjects featured in its original series Godfather of Harlem. This four-part documentary series brings alive the dramatic true story of Harlem and its music during the 1960’s, and connects that history to our present moment.
Combining interviews, archival footage, evocative imagery and key moments from the Godfather of Harlem series itself, this series will take audiences on a musical journey that brings to life the excitement of 1960’s Harlem, and introduces the artists who dared to use their voices, instruments and lyrics to take a stand against oppression. Through the prism of contemporary artists, audiences will see beyond the black and white historical images into the multicolored souls of musicians unafraid to use music as a weapon against change.
Premiering in Fall 2020, By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem is executive produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker from Significant Productions, along with Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean and Keith McQuirter (Decoder Media).
Season one of the critically-acclaimed drama Godfather of Harlem, produced by ABC Signature Studios, is currently available for streaming. Season two will commence production in the near future.
ABOUT SIGNIFICANT PRODUCTIONS
Significant Productions is a multicultural production company founded by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and his producing partner, Nina Yang Bongiovi in 2010 — covering motion pictures, television, documentaries, creative development and physical production, alongside a knack for discovering and championing talent, like that of Ryan Coogler (Marvel’s Black Panther), whose first film, Fruitvale Station (2013) was produced by Nina and Forest. Together under their banner, they have produced a number of award-winning, critically-acclaimed feature films by auteur directors, including Dope (2015) by Rick Famuyiwa, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) by Chloe Zhao, Roxanne Roxanne (2018) by Michael Larnell and Sorry To Bother You (2018) by Boots Riley.
Currently, Forest and Nina are in post-production on Passing, Rebecca Hall’s feature directorial debut based on Nella Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance novel of the same name, starring Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, Andre Holland and Alexander Skarsgard. They also serve as executive producers on EPIX’s hit television show, Godfather of Harlem, which is heading into Season 2.
The producing duo are members of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) and the Television Academy.
ABOUT DECODER MEDIA
Founded in 2008 by award-winning producer and director Keith McQuirter, Decoder Media is a New York City-based production company that brings meaningful stories to the world about real people, elevating the mediums of documentary filmmaking, commercials and branded content.
By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem, is only the latest foray into documentaries for Decoder Media and McQuirter, who is Executive Producing and Directing the Harlem series, in collaboration with Executive Producers — Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi.
Known for its digital media and commercial credits, Decoder Media’s documentary work unflinchingly declares that stories about people of color matter and its imperative that they are told to audiences across all media platforms. McQuirter produced three episodes of the nine-part The Innocence Files docuseries on wrongful convictions that debuted on Netflix in Spring 2020. Decoder Media and McQuirter also have a feature documentary in development about the criminal justice system.
This follows the feature documentary Milwaukee 53206 directed and produced by McQuirter, which aired on WORLD Channel’s America ReFramed in 2018 and won Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 Urbanworld Film Festival. McQuirter, a New York University Tisch School film and television production graduate , also co-produced season one of Brick City, the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated docuseries for the Sundance Channel.
For more information about Decoder Media, go to www.decodermedia.com. Follow Decoder Media on Twitter @decodermedia (http://twitter.com/decodermedia) on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DecoderMedia/) and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/decodermedia/).
EPIX®, an MGM company, is a premium television network delivering a broad line-up of quality original series and documentaries, the latest movie releases and classic film franchises – all available on TV, on demand, online and across devices. EPIX® has tripled the amount of original programming on the network and has become a destination for original premium content with series including Godfather of Harlem, starring and executive produced by Forest Whitaker; Pennyworth, the origin story of Batman’s butler Alfred; Perpetual Grace, LTD, starring Sir Ben Kingsley; spy thriller Deep State; War of the Worlds, from Howard Overman and starring Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern; two-part music docuseries Laurel Canyon; docuseries Slow Burn based on the hit podcast, docuseries NFL: The Grind, from NFL Films and hosted by Rich Eisen and Belgravia, from Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and the creative team from Downton Abbey; as well as upcoming premieres of drama Chapelwaite, based on the short story Jerusalem’s Lot by Stephen King and starring Academy Award winner Adrien Brody; six-part docuseries Helter Skelter: An American Myth, executive produced and directed by Lesley Chilcott; and epic fantasy drama series Britannia. Launched in October 2009, EPIX® is available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite and emerging digital distribution platforms as well as through its EPIX NOW app, providing more movies than any other network with thousands of titles available for streaming.
For more information about EPIX, go to www.EPIX.com. Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHd (http://www.twitter.com/EpixHD) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EPIX), YouTube (http://youtube.com/EPIX), Instagram (http://instagram.com/EPIX) and Snapchat @EPIXTV.