Red Bull Music Festival New York Announces Premiere of Betty Davis Documentary

Red Bull Music Festival New York returns this May for a sixth year with another diverse program of original events, world premieres, and talks with icons and innovators. As part of this programming, Red Bull Music Festival will host the U.S. Theatrical Premiere of BETTY – THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT. After a premiere in Europe at the 2017 Amsterdam IDFA film festival and pre-release screenings in Pittsburgh – the full U.S. theatrical version will have its first screening at the Billie Holiday Theatre in New York on Wednesday 23rd May.The film will run in selected independent cinemas across North America from June 2018. Tickets are on sale via The film will then run in selected independent cinemas across North America from June 2018.

Funk Queen Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. She “was the first…” as former husband Miles Davis said. “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince”. An aspiring songwriter from a small steel town, Betty arrived on the 70’s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles – startlingly turning him from jazz to funk on the album she named “Bitches Brew”. She then, despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself. Betty was a feminist pioneer, inspiring and intimidating in a manner like no woman before. Then suddenly – she vanished. Creatively blending documentary and animation this movie traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.

Directed and written by British filmmaker Phil Cox (The Bengali Detective / Love Hotel), the documentary films for the first time with the infamously reclusive Funk Queen. Composed around Betty’s song lyrics, interviews, animations and a creative narrative, Betty finally shares her extraordinary story – including her short marriage to Miles Davis, befriending Jimi Hendrix and her 35-year disappearance. The documentary also includes stunning never before seen film archive of Betty Davis performing and a host of new and exclusive photos.

“It was an incredible experience to collaborate with Betty across four years. Her cultural and musical importance as a free thinking female pioneer, who paved the way for so many artists to follow, must now be recognised. Her fearless stand as an independent artist, years before anyone else was ‘doing it’ led to great hardship, but her blistering funk albums still stand strong alongside those of her contemporaries Sly Stone, Funkadelic and others. Betty is still unique – it was an honour to make this very personal film with her,” said director / writer Phil Cox.

Produced by the award winning UK and French production companies, Native Voice Films and La Compagnie des Taxi Brousse, in co-production with ARTE FRANCE, it will be distributed across North America by Monoduo Films. Release info at:

In addition to the events, Red Bull Music Festival New York will tell original stories through editorial content on Red Bull Radio ( will also feature a month of NYC-focused programming, including event live streams, special broadcasts from Red Bull Arts New York, and more.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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