Led Zeppelin documentary ‘Becoming Led Zeppelin’ set to premiere at Venice Film Festival

Director Bernard MacMahon said he wanted "to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical"

The forthcoming authorised Led Zeppelin documentary Becoming Led Zeppelin is set to premiere at the Venice International Film Festival next month.

The Bernard MacMahon-directed film will feature new interviews with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant, as well as rare archival interviews with the late John Bonham, who died in 1980.

Becoming Led Zeppelin is now set to be screened at the Venice film festival, which this year runs from September 1-11, in their out-of-competition section.


“With Becoming Led Zeppelin my goal was to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical,” MacMahon said in a statement. “I wanted to weave together the four diverse stories of the band members before and after they formed their group with large sections of their story advanced using only music and imagery and to contextualise the music with the locations where it was created and the world events that inspired it.

“I used only original prints and negatives, with over 70,000 frames of footage manually restored, and devised fantasia sequences, inspired by Singin’ In The Rain, layering unseen performance footage with montages of posters, tickets and travel to create a visual sense of the freneticism of their early career.”

Becoming Led Zeppelin is the first time that Led Zeppelin have participated in a documentary in 50 years, with the band granting MacMahon “unprecedented access” for the film. A wide release date has yet to be announced.

Last month Robert Plant spoke about how the late John Bonham had featured in his dreams during lockdown.


“I’ve dreamt that I’ve been back with old friends, quite a lot, like John Bonham, like my father, my son who left when he was five,” Plant said on his podcast Digging Deep. “And they’ve been magnificent moments of great relief.”