Presenting Princess Shaw will hit theaters this weekend. The documentary revolves around Samantha “Princess Shaw” Montgomery, a 40 year old black woman who takes care of the elderly in one of New Orleans’s toughest neighborhoods. In the evenings, she writes and sings her own heartfelt songs as “Princess Shaw” on her confessional YouTube channel. In many of her videos her original songs are performed without music while sharing details about her life as a sexually abused child growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood.
Montgomery’s story is bought to light when Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar decides to make her the focal point of a documentary. The documentary is comprised of Shaw’s daily life as she tries out for various talent competitions, struggles to pay bills, and performs at virtually empty open mics. Her emotional video diary entries that she shares with her YouTube fans are also included in the documentary. For the duration of this period, Montgomery believed that she was merely apart of a film that very few people would see; however, she had no idea that Ophir Kutiel aka Kutiman, an Israeli composer and artist, was in the process of creating a musical masterpiece behind the scenes with her original songs and vocals.
The filming leads up to the YouTube release of Kutiman’s instrumentally enhanced version of Mongtomery’s original song Give It Up and it went viral as soona s it was released.
“I’m still in awe of all that’s going on that. I’m not used to it. I’m a starving artist. I’m a normal chick. All this is beautiful, but it’s a whirlwind.” – Samantha “Princess Shaw” Montgomery
Below is the video of Give It Up that has accumulated over 2 million views.
The film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and Participant during the Toronto International Film Festival, and opens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend as counter programming to Hollywood’s Memorial Day tent pole films. Kutiman and director Haar will attend Q&As in New York, and Princess Shaw will appear at the screenings in L.A. The film was also released today on iTunes, Amazon and on-demand everywhere. On June 3rd the film will expand to 10-15 additional markets and continue it’s roll out through the rest of June.
Check out the heartfelt trailer below, and be sure to support this film in theaters!