Synopsis: City of Ali explores Muhammad Ali’s hometown roots and global impact as seen through the eyes of the people who gathered in Louisville, Kentucky to mark The Champ’s passing in 2016. The film features childhood friends and members of the Ali family as well as visitors like NBC’s Craig Melvin, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, 4-time Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield and ESPN’s Hannah Storm. City of Ali also shares behind-the-scenes accounts of the unprecedented celebration of one man’s life, including the emotional 20-mile funeral procession that drew over 100,000 people into the streets of Louisville, and the memorial service seen by an estimated global audience of one billion people.
About the Filmmakers
Graham Shelby is a writer, filmmaker and multimedia storyteller whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Reader’s Digest and the Associated Press. His stories have also been broadcast internationally on NPR, Marketplace, The Moth Radio Hour and Voice of America. An experienced speaker, workshop leader and presenter, Graham specializes in helping students and clients define their stories and connect with audiences from diverse backgrounds. Graham spent three years in Fukushima, Japan, teaching English and organizing cultural exchanges through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife and sons.
Jonathan McHugh is an independent producer/director/music supervisor who has held high ranking creative positions at New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers, Sony Records, Universal Records. McHugh just finished directing his first two films; “Long Live Rock…Celebrate the Chaos” and “Cosplay Universe” McHugh has produced over 35 films and TV shows with some of pop culture’s biggest stars including Justin Bieber, Muhammad Ali, Britney Spears, Janis Joplin, Snoop Dogg. McHugh is a Producers Guild Documentary jury member, a former Grammy Trustee and President of the LA Chapter and co-founder of the Guild of Music Supervisors