Funk Figure Betty Davis to Be Explored in New Documentary

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Sep 16, 2015

The life and career of funk artist Betty Davis is set to be explored in an upcoming documentary. Production has begun on Nasty Gal: The Many Lives of Funk Queen Betty Davis, but a timeline on the release depends on if filmmakers can garner enough funds via a crowd-sourcing campaign via Indiegogo.

A press release explains that filmmakers Phil Cox and Damon Smith had approached Davis about the project a few years back, having already been deeply inspired by her "raw, super funky music." The film will apparently trace the artist's early days through to her recorded output in the '70s, her disappearing from the scene completely in the '80s and her current-day activities.

Davis had issued three albums in the '70s — Betty Davis, They Say I'm Different and Nasty Gal — which were later reissued via Light in the Attic. A fourth album, Is It Love or Desire, was recorded in 1976 but not given a proper release until 2009, also through Light in the Attic.

Through it all, the upcoming documentary is said to tackle "issues of gender, race, fame, spirituality, and the role of liberated women in American society," and aims to present Davis as an icon for having broke "boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion style and outrageous funk."

The film comes fully sanctioned by Davis, who is ready to have her story told.

"I feel that now is the time to tell my story with people I trust," she said in a statement. "It's important that I can shape my legacy while I'm alive by returning my story and music to people who will value it and learn from it."

The filmmakers are currently seeking $65,000 to help track down archival material, pay licensing fees for music to be used in the documentary, shoot more footage, and pay for expenses including travel and editing.

Incentives for investors include exclusive T-shirts, a digital mixtape curated by Davis, signed LPs, a personal letter, a guided tour of New York City, and more. You can find the details over here.

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