Film Depicts the Magic & Moments that Occurred in Ali’s Hometown Louisville 5 Years Ago During the Week of His Passing
Documentary Set for National Release June 4 by Abramorama
On the five year anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s passing, the world premiere of City of Ali, a documentary that tells the story of how Muhammad’s death unified his hometown of Louisville—as well as the entire world—will take place at the Muhammad Ali Center on June 3rd, followed by multiple public screenings throughout the annual Ali Festival, June 3-13. Visitors can sign up in advance at www.alicenter.org. Ticket options for City of Ali screenings include: $10 for film screening or $20 for film screening AND admission to the Center’s award-winning exhibits. Tickets will also be available on-site, but available only on a first come, first served basis.
City of Ali is set to have a national release Friday, June 4th as a Watch Now @ Home Cinema Release, via Abramorama, which has acquired the global rights to the Muhammad Ali Documentary.
Laura Douglas, Interim President and CEO of the Ali Center, said, “Muhammad loved his hometown of Louisville, and it was apparent five years ago just how much they loved him back. We are thrilled to offer the community a chance to be among the first to see this extraordinary documentary as part of the Annual Ali Festival as it will soon be made available to global audiences. We are grateful to all involved in this documentary and especially the community who has celebrated Muhammad’s life and legacy in the spirit of unity and respect.”
Directed by Louisville’s own Graham Shelby and produced by Award-winning Producer Jonathan McHugh (Long Live Rock…Celebrate the Chaos), City of Ali explores Ali’s lifelong relationship with his hometown through candid interviews with friends and relatives, as well as thoughtful reflections from visitors and observers. Those featured in the film, in part, include Lonnie Ali, Mayor Greg Fischer, Asaad Ali, Rasheda Ali, Rahaman Ali, President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, NBC’s Craig Melvin, TV legend Dick Cavett, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, 4-time Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, ESPN’s Hannah Storm, and many others who gathered in Louisville to answer the question, “How do you say good-bye to The Greatest?”
Ali’s passing on June 3, 2016, came in the context of a bitter U.S. presidential election, a proposed Muslim ban, and the global expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet on the day of Muhammad’s funeral procession, more than 100,000 people lined the streets of Louisville to celebrate his life, and an estimated one billion people worldwide tuned in to hear events including his memorial that was held in the packed KFC YUM! Center as stories of the Louisville Lip’s wit, generosity, swagger and commitment to justice were retold by family, friends, and luminaries.
“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown,” says Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville and the President of the US Conference of Mayors. “Five years later, Muhammad’s example still inspires us and people around the world, as we continue The Champ’s fight against racial injustice and all forms of hatred and prejudice. That’s why it’s an honor to help present City of Ali’s story of compassion and connection to our city, our country and our world.”
“Our film’s title really has two meanings: On the one hand, the City of Ali is Louisville, where Cassius Clay grew up and Muhammad Ali came home. The City of Ali also refers to the global community of people Ali touched and inspired in his incredible life,” said Director Graham Shelby. “This documentary tells the story of what happened when those two communities came together. It was an unforgettable moment to experience and we’re excited to share City of Ali with fans.”
Producer Jonathan McHugh shares, “It has been an unprecedented honor to work with a team of Ali friends, family and fans from Louisville and beyond to help craft a film that brings the story of The Champ’s final return to his hometown to life. The unity that we saw on display during the week of Muhammad’s passing is a true testament to his legacy. We can only hope that his unifying spirit can continue to be a beacon for all of humanity.”
Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz said, “Muhammad Ali has been a shining example of righteousness and good will for generations and we are deeply honored by the privilege of helping to bring this movie out into the world. His message of love is critical now more than ever.”
Screening times are below and tickets can be purchased today at www.alicenter.org:
- Friday, June 4: 1:00pm and 3:00pm
- Saturday, June 5: 1:00pm, 3:00pm, and 6:00pm
- Sunday, June 6: 3:00pm
- Monday, June 7: 1:00pm
- Tuesday, June 8: 3:00pm
- Wednesday, June 9: 6:00pm
- Thursday, June 10: 3:00pm
- Friday, June 11: 1:00pm and 3:00pm
- Saturday, June 12: 1:00pm and 3:00pm
- Sunday, June 13: 3:00pm
For additional information about the documentary, visit www.cityofali.com.