Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall marks the director's second film on the late entertainer
Fresh from the debut of his latest narrative feature Chi-Raq, Spike Lee is heading to Sundance with a new documentary on the late Michael Jackson.
The world premiere of Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall will take place at the festival on Sunday, January 24. It's Lee's second collaboration with the estate of the King of Pop; he directed the 2012 documentary Bad 25, which marked the 25th anniversary of MJ's Bad album.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson's estate, serve as executive producers of Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, the same role they occupied on Bad 25.
As the title of the documentary suggests, Lee's film charts Jackson's transition from lead singer of the Jackson 5 -- where he was tightly controlled by his father Joe and the Motown operation -- to his emergence as a potent solo artist. He was 20 years old when Off the Wall came out in 1979. It was his first record with producer Quincy Jones; the two would collaborate onThriller in 1982.
"Director Spike Lee assembles a wealth of archival footage, interviews with contemporary talents and family members, and Michael’s own words and image to create this insightful chronicle of the star’s early rise to fame," the Sundance catalogue said of Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.
According to a press release about the documentary it "features candid interviews with those who were there, as well as luminaries who comment on the impact of Michael Jackson and his seminal album including Pharrell Williams, Mark Ronson, John Legend, Kobe Bryant and Lee Daniels."
Lee has become a prolific documentary filmmaker in addition to his work in narratives. His credits include films on Jim Brown and Kobe Bryant, along with two documentaries on New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts  and If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise .
Ryan Denmark and Barry Alexander Brown share editing credit on Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall. Kerwin DeVonish served as DP. Karen Langford is credited as co-producer/associate producer.
The Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Utah.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.