Milestone Films

Say Amen, Somebody


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Now available for streaming, the newly restored SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY!

    One of the most acclaimed music documentaries of all time, Say Amen, Somebody is George Nierenberg’s masterpiece — a joyous, funny, deeply emotional celebration of African American culture, featuring the father of Gospel, Thomas A. Dorsey ("Precious Lord, Take My Hand"); its matron, Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith; and earth-shaking performances by the Barrett Sisters and the O'Neal Twins. When it was first released in the early 1980s, the film received an overwhelming critical response, garnering rave reviews around the world.

    “One of the most joyful movies I’ve ever seen.”
    — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

    The film’s mood is never less than marvelously infectious.”
    Richard Schickel, Time 

    “The music conquers doubt and unhappiness, and when it ends, you feel healed.”
    David Denby, New York Magazine

    Quoting Willie Mae Ford Smith: “‘I just have a feeling within… You can’t help yourself. It goes between the marrow and the bones. I feel like I could fly’… 
    [the film] 
    has the same uplifting effect on its audience.”
    Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News

    Unseen in cinemas for nearly thirty years, Say Amen, Somebody has been gorgeously restored to 4K by Milestone with support from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Academy Film Archive. The new restoration features brilliantly restored Dolby Stereo and 5.1 soundtracks!


    The new 4K restoration of Say Amen, Somebody is now available only for institutional sale that includes public performance rights and a streaming license for 3-years from date of purchase. (Please see here for further details.)

    See also on Milestone’s website, George Nierenberg's amazing No Maps on My Taps and About Tap.

    For more information, please check out the website for film and 


     An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

    Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.


    US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied. These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. 

    Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email 

    US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email 

    The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.

    Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly with Milestone by emailing

    Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

    All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.

    DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.

    DCPs should be returned to:

    Milestone Film & Video
    38 George Street
    Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
    United States 

    35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.

    Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:

    Iron Mountain
    Attn: Milestone Account
    235 Main Street
    Little Falls, NJ 07424

    For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting

    Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.


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