Apple TV+ Tells Sidney Poitier’s Story in New Documentary


( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Forthcoming Apple TV+ Documentary Recounts Life of Icon Sidney Poitier

ENSPIRE Contributor: Claya Davis

The wait is almost over for the highly anticipated Apple TV+ documentary film about the life and legacy of Sidney Poitier, the Academy Award-winning actor. The Apple TV+ original film, entitle ‘Sidney’, is expected to premiere at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) early next month, then it will be released globally on Apple TV+ on September 23rd.

Directed by Reginald Hudlin, the producer behind ‘Marshal’ (2017), ‘Django Unchained’ (2012), and ‘House Party’ (1990), the film documents Poitier’s career as an actor and filmmaker and highlights his off-screen activism during the Civil Rights Movement. ‘Sidney’ promises fans an intimate and honest look into Poitier’s life as it was written with the help of the Poitier family.

Archive/Getty Images, via Biography

Producer Derik Murray, known for ‘Facing Ali’ (2009) and ‘Punk’ (2019), joins forces with the multi-talented Oprah Winfrey to aid in the production process and help bring the late Poitier’s story to life on screen.

The film utilizes archived clips, old photographs, and voice clips of Sidney Poitier speaking in order to ground ‘Sidney’ in history and immerse the audience into the great actor’s life. Interviews with other legendary actors and producers, like Spike Lee, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, and Denzel Washington, are peppered throughout and used to frame the feature.

During his life (Feb. 1927 – Jan. 2022), Sidney Poitier positively influenced many both on and off stage, which is evidenced by just how many notable names in the film industry excitedly contributed to this project. “Sidney was my inspiration, my guiding light, my friend,” said Morgan Freeman in a tweet soon after the late actor’s death.

Barak Obama, former president of the United States of America, also took to the social media platform after Sidney’s departure, tweeting out a picture, sending love to his family, and stating that the actor “epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together”

Former President Barak Obama (Right), Sidney Poitier (Middle), and Former First Lady Michelle Obama (left)

About Sidney Poitier:

Although Poitier was born prematurely in Miami, the actor spent the first 14 years of his life with his family on their native Cat Island, Bahamas. After briefly living with relatives in Miami, Sidney moved to New York, working menial labor jobs in Harlem and serving a brief stint in the army before being accepted on his second audition to the American Negro Theatre. His success on stage lead to his first film casting, ‘No Way Out’ (1950) directed by Darryl F. Zanuck. His premier performance in this film lead to future castings, including a leading role in ‘The Defiant Ones’ (1958), which earned him his very first Academy Award. His role in ‘Lillies of the Field’ (1963) won him an Oscar five years later.

During the Civil Right Movement, Sidney Poitier used his roles in ‘To Sir, with Love’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ (1967) to break down social barriers, encourage activism and promote racial unity. In 1970, the cinematic star began fulfilling production duties instead, which garnered additional accolades and success. Sidney Poitier died on January 6, 2022, at the age of 97.

Check out the official trailer for ‘Sidney’ below in preparation for its upcoming release.


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