top of page


The new series includes films about iconic figures ranging from Little Richard and Karl Lagerfeld to Kae Tempest and Coco Chanel, alongside the Oscar-nominated acquisition All The Beauty and The Bloodshed, coming this Spring, with further commissions to be announced.

Suzy Klein, Head of Arts and Classical Music TV, says: “Arena is back with a focus on the icons, works, people and moments we think we all know, but where there are still rich and surprising stories to tell. I hope audiences will be as gripped by this latest series of films as we are, and I’m so proud to be working with some of the UK’s leading filmmakers at the height of their careers, championing the best of British documentary-making.”

Little Richard: The King and Queen of Rock'n'Roll

Thrusting, fabulous and seemingly fearless, Little Richard can genuinely stake a claim on having invented rock ’n’ roll. A black artist who grew up in the segregated South, Richard Pennyman broke down barriers and took 1950s America by storm. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones supported him, and took inspiration from his musicianship and stagecraft. He went on to influence artists as diverse as David Bowie, Elton John, Michael Jackson and Prince.

All the Beauty and The Bloodshed

An Oscar-nominated film from the award-winning director Laura Poitras, All the Beauty and The Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin. The story is told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground-breaking photography, and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the opioid overdose crisis.

The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld was the undisputed king of fashion for over 40 years. Instantly recognisable with his trademark sunglasses and silver ponytail, he transformed high fashion from a niche interest into blockbuster, dramatic entertainment. But how many people ever really knew the true Karl Lagerfeld? The German-born designer was a charismatic showman, catching worldwide attention by being unpredictable and possessing an acid tongue. His personal life was as lavish as the catwalks he adorned; he earned millions, spent a fortune and frequently attracted controversy with his provocative pronouncements.

Kae Tempest

Poet, rapper, playwright and recording artist Kae Tempest is one of the most viscerally exciting artists working in Britain today. They are the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious Ted Hughes prize and have been nominated for both Brit and Mercury music prizes. This unique Arena film, shot over several years, gains a rare insight into their life and creative process.

Coco Chanel

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel transformed women's fashion, a truly revolutionary designer whose influence is still evident today. Her designs called into question the role of women, sex and power, and ignited a whole new way of dressing. Yet her life remains shrouded in mystery.

Born into a rural peasant background in the 19th century and brought up in an orphanage run by nuns, Chanel went on to become one of the wealthiest woman of her age, through a combination of grit, graft and talent, arguably becoming the first ever influencer. She defied convention in her wardrobe and her personal life: notorious for the string of glamorous lovers and yet wary of telling her story.


bottom of page