Showtime’s Sinead O’Connor Documentary First in Theaters

Showtime’s Sinead O’Connor Documentary First in Theaters

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“Nothing Compares,” a documentary about the life and career of Sinead O’Connor, will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on September 23 for a one-week duration that is eligible for Academy Award consideration. The theatrical release of the film comes days before the docu’s September 30 Showtime streaming and on-demand debut.

The 97-minute film, directed by Kathryn Ferguson, chronicles O’Connor’s rise to worldwide fame after “Nothing Compares 2 U” was released in 1990, as well as the Irish singer’s eventual exile from the pop mainstream after she tore up a photo of Pope. John Paul II on “Saturday Night Live” in 1992. The documentary also explores other controversies that make headlines, such as O’Connor’s refusal to perform at a New Jersey stadium during the Persian Gulf War unless stadium officials agreed to refrain from playing the national anthem. At the time, the star’s political and religious outcry was met with outrage. Told through a contemporary feminist lens, Ferguson’s portrait documentary argues that O’Connor was 30 years ahead of her time.

The film is Ferguson’s directorial debut. The Belfast-born helmer began work on “Nothing Compares” in 2018.

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“In 2018 we were in Ireland preparing for the abortion referendum, and a few years earlier we had the equal marriage referendum, so it just felt absurd that Sinead’s voice wasn’t part of the conversation,” Ferguson said. “She was someone who had been so bold and brave and who really kicked in the door, especially (in Ireland). I felt she needed to be part of the conversation, and it felt very urgent.”

“Nothing Compares” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. After a bidding war Showtime acquired the worldwide rights to the documentary in February.

“I was impressed with Showtime and their fantastic selection of documentaries,” said Ferguson. “We were excited to be a part of that, as a broadcast streamer they were very supportive of a theatrical release. When I dreamed about this (project) in early 2018, I really hoped it would be shared with the public in a very cinematic way. So the fact that it will be in theaters is just my wildest stream to come out.”

The doc has won several awards at film festivals this year, including Best Irish Documentary at Galway Film Fleadh, Audience Award for Documentary at the Aegean Film Festival and Audience Award at Docs Ireland. The film is produced by Eleanor Emptage and Michael Mallie for Tara Films (UK) and Ard Mhacha Productions (Ireland), in association with Field of Vision. Executive producers are Charlotte Cook, Lesley McKimm, Lucy Pullin, John Reynolds and Lisa Marie Russo. The film was supported by Screen Ireland, the BFI Doc Society Fund, IE:Entertainment and Northern Ireland Screen.

“Nothing Compares” makes its on-air debut October 2 on Showtime.

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