Hughes Hubbard & Reed laid the groundwork for a new documentary on Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, the late legendary actors and activists.
Their grandson, Muta'Ali Muhammad, wrote, directed and co-produced "Life Essentials with Ruby Dee: A Life Story Documentary Celebrating 90 Years of Love, Art, & Activism."
Natasha Reed, Kamanta Kettle and Kelli Lane are representing Muhammad's limited liability company, Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee LLC, pro bono on intellectual property and corporate matters with respect to the production, distribution and marketing of the film.
On June 22, they attended the world premiere of the documentary at the 18th annual American Black Film Festival in New York City. The documentary is part tribute, part history lesson and part coming-of-age story, providing viewers with an intimate look into the remarkable lives of one of the best-known and admired couples of Hollywood and Broadway, told through the eyes of their grandson.
Stunned by the death of his grandfather in 2005, Muta'Ali moves to New York to spend more time with his grandmother and to seek answers to some of life's most universal questions. In so doing, Muta'Ali delves into the chapters of his grandparents' remarkable lives, posing probing questions to family, including Dee herself, celebrity friends and fellow activists of the star couple.
Harry Belafonte, Alan Alda, Cicely Tyson, Angela Basset, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Spike Lee and Dr. Cornel West are among the many notable celebrities who reflect upon and offer insights into the couple's love, dedication to the arts and social activism. Never-before-seen footage from the Dee-Davis family archives is shown and viewers have the privilege of seeing an intimate side of Ruby Dee as she speaks to her grandson about some of life's important lessons she learned over time.
In addition to Reed, Kettle and Lane, Katie Coleman, Valerie Clark and David Gershel are handling corporate and tax matters for the client. Reed first met Dee and Davis in 2004, when the couple came to Hughes Hubbard for legal advice in connection with cataloging, protecting and policing decades worth of their copyrighted footage, books, speeches and essays. Dee, who died on June 11, was married to Davis for 56 years.