Original Programming

KAREN CARPENTER: STARVING FOR PERFECTION EXPLORES THE 1970s POP PRINCESS FORTY YEARS AFTER HER UNTIMELY DEATH

Documentary premieres February 10 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

DALLAS, TX (JANUARY 18, 2023) – AMS Pictures today announced a new original documentary Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection celebrating the life and music of the 1970s pop princess.

She was the first in a long line of celebrities to suffer from an eating disorder during an era when the vastly misunderstood phenomenon brought shame and public humiliation. For the first time, filmgoers will hear Karen Carpenter’s personal struggle in her own voice through never-before released recordings and through the legendary voices of those who knew her (Carol Burnett, Olivia Newton-John, and Suzanne Somers) and were inspired by her music (Belinda Carlisle, Kristin Chenoweth, and Carnie Wilson). 

As the #1 American musical act of the 1970s, the Carpenters were on top of the world, producing a string of pop masterpieces, including “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” and “Rainy Days and Mondays.” But behind closed doors, Karen’s quest for perfection resulted in low self-esteem, a disheartening love life, and a public battle with anorexia nervosa, which ended with her untimely death at the age of only 32.

Forty years after her death comes Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection, a captivating, revealing, and unvarnished documentary providing astounding new insight into the singer’s tragically short life and enduring musical legacy. 

“This film took us four years to make and picks up where my book left off,” says producer and writer Randy Schmidt, who authored the 2010 national bestseller Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. “We conducted dozens of new and insightful interviews and explored some of the stories and themes in greater detail. We also unearthed never-before-seen images and footage, in addition to several revealing audio interviews that have never been heard before, and the result is Karen’s story told in her own words. It’s safe to say this is the most comprehensive and enlightening documentary on the subject to date.”

Executive producers on the film are Andy Streitfeld and Carnie Wilson. “It was Karen’s untimely passing that informed the world that eating disorders could be deadly,” says Wilson, who is the daughter of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson and a member of the pop music group Wilson Phillips. “We’ve come so far, but self esteem and eating issues are still so relevant to young women today.”

Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection premieres at the Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival (Santa Barbara, CA) Friday, February 10, at 8:20 p.m. and repeats Sunday, February 12, at 11:20 a.m. The film will also screen at the Sedona International Film Festival (Sedona, AZ) on Thursday, February 23, at 7:00 p.m.

About AMS Pictures

AMS Pictures is a Dallas-based full-service multi-media production company specializing in independent documentaries, as well as unscripted content for networks such as Lifetime, HGTV, PBS, REELZ, History and many others. Original series and specials include I Was Lorena Bobbitt, #TextMeWhenYouGetHome, Cellmate Secrets with Angie Harmon, and I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash, as well as the television-themed documentaries The Love Boat: Happily Ever AfterLucille Ball: We Love Lucy, and M*A*S*H: When Television Changed Forever.

For more information, contact Amanda Metz at ametz@amspictures.com

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