Soul singer Sharon Jones' battle with cancer and return to performing has been documented and will be shown at the opening night of the New Zealand International Film Festival in Napier.

Miss Sharon Jones! - by Academy Award-winning documentary maker Barbara Kopple - opens the festival on September 1.

Kopple's documentary, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows Sharon Jones, a diminutive ("four foot 11 and a quarter") soul singer, over a more than year-long battle with cancer, and her return to performing.

You won't have to be a fan to be drawn into Jones' story - although her music and magnetic performances certainly help.

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Kopple also covers Jones' fight to forge a career as a professional musician.

The singer recalls how an executive at a major label told her she was "too black, too fat, too short, and too old" to make it in the business.

Jones found success later in life - her first record hit shelves when she was 40.

As always, the festival is presenting a range of movies from sports features to sci fi, drama to comedy.

There will be two screenings daily and three each on Saturdays and Sundays.

- For more information on the festival, visit mtghawkesbay.com keywords # 2016 Film Festival