Hers was the golden voice with the unmatchable range. Six-time Grammy® winner Whitney Houston was one of the most successful female recording artists of all time. After a troubled marriage to singer Bobby Brown and many years of struggles with addiction, Houston died suddenly and tragically at age 48. With behind the scenes materials, candid interviews and performance footage – including many of Houston’s greatest hits – WHITNEY. “CAN I BE ME” will offer a raw and uncensored look at Houston, exploring the impact her life and death had on the people around her and the world of music.
According to her band members, “Can I be me?” was Houston’s favorite expression, one she used so much that they sampled it to play at the start of rehearsals. The film explores Whitney’s central dilemma: even though she had made millions of dollars, had more consecutive number ones than The Beatles and was recognized as having one of the greatest voices of all time, she still couldn’t do what she wanted to do, either professionally or in her personal life.
Nick Broomfield studied Law at Cardiff, and Political Science at Essex University. He then went onto study film at the National Film School, under Professor Colin Young.
Broomfield first got interested in film at age 15 while discovering his love for photography on a foreign exchange visit in France. "A great way to strike up conversations, and a great excuse to ask questions about the World around you".
He made his first film, ‘Who Cares,’ about Slum Clearance in Liverpool while at University by borrowing a wind up Bolex camera and shooting it on short ends. Professor Colin Young at the NFS had a great influence on his work, encouraging participant observation, as well as introducing him to the lovely and most talented Joan Churchill. Together Churchill and Brookfield made several films, ‘Juvenille Liaison,’ ‘Tattooed Tears,’ ‘Soldier Girls,’ ‘Lily Tomlin,’ and more recently ‘Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer.’ They also have a son together.
Broomfield was originally influenced by the observational style of Fred Wiseman, and Robert Leacock and Pennebaker, before moving on, largely by accident, to the more idiosyncratic style for which he is better known. While making ‘Driving me Carzy’ in 1988, a film hopelessly out of control, Broomfield decided to place himself and the producer of the film in the story, as a way of making sense of the event.
This experiment led to a sense of greater freedom from the confines of observational cinema, and led to a more investigative and experimental type of filmmaking (i.e. ‘The Leader, the Driver and the Drivers Wife,’ ‘Aileen Wuornos,’ ‘Kurt and Courtney’ and ‘Biggie and Tupac’).
Broomfield is the recipient of the Sundance first prize, British Academy Award, Prix Italia, Dupont Peabody Award, Grierson Award, Hague Peace Prize, and Amnesty International Doen Award, amongst others.
Rudi Dolezal (DoRo)
Working worldwide with stars of the music scene on documentaries, music videos, and live concert films for DVD and TV, Rudi Dolezal is today a legendary filmmaker. Dolezal, who founded his European based company DoRo over 35 years ago, has directed and produced more than 1000 music videos, 500 documentaries, 500 concert films, as well as numerous commercials and TV shows.
Dolezal has directed and worked with well-known and exceptionally talented artists such as The Rolling Stones, Bono/U2, Queen, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel,Norah Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, Paulina Rubio, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Lionel Richie, Blur, Oasis, System of a Down, Sarah Brightman, Jewel, Genesis, Elton John, N’Sync, Boyz II Men, José Carreras, George Michael, Garth Brooks, Liza Minnelli, Annie Lennox, Blondie, Wolfmother, RunDMC, The Strokes, Roxy Music, The Who, Dionne Warwick, Youssou N´Dour, Frank Zappa, Metallica, NoMercy, Bad Company - just to name a few.
Dolezal has stepped beyond his original focus of music related projects by also working with Harry Belafonte on peace and human rights projects, directing a worldwide commended AIDS-awareness campaign with The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Queen and Holly Johnson. He is also responsible for the “ARTISTS against VIOLENCE” project, featuring Tim Robbins, Martin Sheen, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Odetta, Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Bob Geldof, Stevie Wonder, Ice T. and many more.
Dolezal’s production of a documentary called “The Joel Files,” describing the suffering of rock star Billy Joel’s family during the Nazi/Hitler regime in Germany before and during WWII, drew worldwide public interest.
Dolezal’s outstanding documentary on the city of Vienna (“1001 Pictures of Vienna”) was internationally acclaimed, and was shown on worldwide TV, live, to 300 million viewers. His films about Budapest (Hungary) and Miami also garnered praise as unusual city portraits. Further collaborations include composer Giorgio Moroder, actor Christopher Lambert, fashion guru Jean-Paul Gaultier and European film icons Bernardo Bertolucci and Michelangelo Antonioni.
Dolezal has received numerous international film, TV and video awards, including two GRAMMY nominations for “Miles & Quincy at Montreux” and “Freddie Mercury – The Untold Story”, a Bronze Lion (International Cannes Advertising Film Festival), several Gold Camera Awards (Chicago), MTV Awards, BRITS Awards, two Golden Rose’s of Montreux, New York Festival (“Get Up – Stand Up”), amongst others.
Most recently, Dolezal decided to focus more on US projects, keeping his European production company DoRo but expanding it to Miami as DoRo Films International.
Dolezal serves as “Governor to the Board” of the RECORDING ACADEMY (NARAS) since 2008.
His latest work includes a worldwide documentary for FALCO, and a documentary for the United Nations on Human Rights, which was presented in New York by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The film is titled “Face Human Rights.”
Directors Nick Broomfield & Rudi Dolezal
Written By Nick Broomfield
Executive Producers John Battsek, Vinnie Malhotra, Patrick Holland, Charles Finch, Shani Hinton, Ben Silverman
Producers Nick Broomfield and Marc Hoeferlin
Cinematographer Sam Mitchell
Editor Marc Hoeferlin
Composer Nick Laird-Clowes
Associate Producers Joe Siegal, Gracie Otto