Producers Edward R. Pressman (American PsychoWall Street) and Shep Gordon (Kiss of the SpiderwomanVillage of the Damned) announced that they have partnered with award-winning director Keith Maitland on The Untitled Michael Brody Jr. Documentary. The film tells the story of  Michael Brody Jr., a 21-year-old hippie millionaire who in 1970 promised to give away his $25M inheritance in an effort to usher in a new era of world peace. Pressman and Gordon initially developed a picture about Brody in the late 1970s.

Maitland’s latest documentary, TOWER, about the first mass school shooting in the U.S. at the University of Texas in 1966, has been chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for their Best Documentary Feature shortlist, and has been nominated for a Producers Guild of America award. It also received the Most Innovative Documentary Award at the Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Best Animated Film at the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, and both the Audience and Grand Jury Award at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. In 2016,Variety named Maitland one of “10 Documakers to Watch.”

“Oftentimes in our industry projects take many years to find the right person to bring them to the screen. With his unique and powerful way of storytelling, Keith is the perfect filmmaker to bring the Michael Brody Jr. story to life,” says Pressman. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Keith, Shep, and the rest of our team on a documentary that I’m confident will make a similar impact on audiences that TOWER has.”

“In the early 1970s, the story of Michael Brody Jr. rocked the headlines,” says Gordon. “I thought it was such a compelling tale of the times that I decided to acquire the rights for a narrative feature as the first project for Alive Films. Now decades later, brilliant filmmaker Keith Maitland is tackling a documentary about the heartbreaking story of a troubled young man who’s idealistic actions ended in tragedy.”

“It’s easy to see why Ed and Shep wanted to make a film about Michael Brody Jr. — it’s an incredible, untold story,” says Maitland. “And it’s an honor to work alongside these legendary producers on a project with as much urgency as ever.”

Maitland will produce the film under his Go-Valley banner along with cinematographer/producer Sarah Wilson (TOWERThe Eyes of Me) and Emmy-winning producer Megan Gilbride (TOWERWhere Soldiers Come FromLovers of Hate), and producer Melissa Robyn Glassman (The Man Who Knew Infinity), who was Pressman Film’s Director of Development prior to forming Twelve21 Productions in 2016.

Pressman and Gordon will serve as Executive Producers along with Pressman Film’s Jon Katz (The Man Who Knew Infinity) and Alive Films’ Carolyn Pfeiffer (Elvis and Annabelle, PBS’ Children of Giant).

The Untitled Michael Brody Jr. Documentary was recently awarded a grant from the Austin Film Society.

Edward R. Pressman is an award-winning producer with more than 80 motion pictures to his credit. Pressman takes great pleasure in helping foster the careers of emerging directors including Terrence Malick (Badlands), Brian De Palma (Phantom of the ParadiseSisters), Oliver Stone (Wall Street), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Alex Proyas (The Crow), Kathryn Bigelow (Blue Steel) and Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking). Fearlessly independent, Pressman made his career collaborating with world-class auteurs, and supporting directors in taking on challenging subject matters as seen in John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian, Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant, Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Sam Raimi’s Crimewave, Wolfgang Peterson’s Das Boot, Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune, David Byrne’s True Stories, and David Mamet’s Homicide. Pressman’s latest film, The Man Who Knew Infinity was directed by Matthew Brown and stars Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel.  

Shep Gordon is the co-founder of Island Alive with producer Carolyn Pfeiffer, and together they have distributed such award-winning films as Koyaanisqatsi, Jonathan Demme’s Talking Head’s doc Stop Making Sense, and Return Engagement featuring Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy. Gordon is widely known in the entertainment industry as having an eye for talent and an innate understanding of what people find entertaining. After graduating from SUNY Buffalo, Gordon moved to LA and co-founded Alive Enterprises in 1969. Over the years, Gordon has been responsible for managing the careers of Alice Cooper, Groucho Marx, Raquel Welch, Luther Vandross, Kenny Loggins, and countless others. He is also known for creating the celebrity chef, which revolutionized the food industry and turned the culinary arts into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. His clients included culinary legends Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Nobu, Daniel Boulud and many more. In addition to the impact he has had on the music, film and food industries, Gordon is also highly regarded for his philanthropic endeavors. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in Rolling Stone magazine, and was the subject of Mike Myers’ 2013 documentary, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. Most recently, Gordon released an autobiography, They Call Me Supermensch A Backstage Pass To The Amazing World Of Film, Food, and Rock ’N’ Roll.

Maitland is the Emmy-nominated director/producer of Tower, an animated doc about America’s first mass school shooting at the University of Texas in 1966. Tower’s world premiere at SXSW 2016 yielded both the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award for Documentary Feature, along with the Lone Star Award for films shot in Texas. The film was released theatrically in 2016 by Kino Lorber and will air on PBS’ Independent Lens early this year. It is currently available on iTunes. Maitland had a second film premiere at SXSW 2016, A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story, a music doc that celebrates the 40th season of the long-running music program. Maitland’s Emmy-nominated feature doc, The Eyes of Me, a year-in-the-life of four blind teens, aired on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2010 and was honored with a Barbara Jordan Media Award by the State of Texas. Director of both documentary and narrative films, commercials and TV series, Maitland’s credits also include seven seasons as an Assistant Director on NBC’s Law & Order. Maitland is a graduate of the Director’s Guild of America Trainee Program and the PBS Producer’s Academy.