The crowd-funded biopic stars Cheadle as jazz legend Miles Davis during his self-imposed exile in the late 1970s.
Holed up in his Manhattan apartment, wracked with pain from a variety of ailments and fiending for the next check from his record company, dodging sycophants and industry executives, he is haunted by memories of old glories and humiliations and of his years with his great love Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi).
Also co-written by Cheadle with Steven Baigelman, Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, Miles Ahead co-stars Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, the “reporter” who cons his way into Davis’ apartment.
Herbie Hancock, who played in Davis’ Second Quintet, helmed the film’s soundtrack.
“I admire Don’s film because of all the intelligent decisions he’s made about how to deal with Miles,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones, “but I was moved—deeply moved—by Miles Ahead for other reasons. Don knows, as an actor, a writer, a director, and a lover of Miles’ music, that intelligent decisions and well-planned strategies only get you so far, that finally it’s your own commitment and attention to every moment and every detail that brings a movie to life. ‘There is no longer much else but ourselves, in the place given us,’ wrote the poet Robert Creeley. ‘To make that present, and actual … is not an embarrassment, but love.’ That’s the core of art. Miles Davis knew it, and Don Cheadle knows it.”
Cheadle added: “I am happy that the selection committee saw fit to invite us to the dance. It’s very gratifying that all the hard work that went into the making of this film, from every person on the team, has brought us here. Miles’ music is all-encompassing, forward-leaning, and expansive. He changed the game time after time, and New York is really where it all took off for him. Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center… feels very ‘right place, right time.’ Very exciting.”
Miles Ahead was produced by Cheadle, Pamela Hirsch, Lenore Zerman, Daniel Wagner, Robert Barnum, Vince Willburn and Daryl Porter for Bifrost Pictures, Crescendo Productions, Naked City Films, and Sobini Films. Icon Film Distribution will distribute in the UK sometime this year.
The film will premiere at NYFF on October 11, 2015. For passes, go to filmlinc.com. See more stills below.