Participant Media, Paramount Home Media Distribution, and Samuel Goldwyn Films will jointly release CNN Films’ documentary Ivory Tower, the Sundance Film Festival pic chronicling crisis within the American education system. Directed by Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times), Ivory Tower questions the value of higher education among spiraling tuition fees and student debt. Pic will hit theaters in June via Samuel Goldwyn with Paramount handling DVD and home entertainment. Paramount is also handling distribution outside of the U.S. Participant previously released Rossi’s Page One and teamed up on education-focused campaigns for Paramount Vantage’s Waiting For Superman and CBS/Pivot’s Teach. The company will spearhead a social action campaign for Ivory Tower this summer.
The Andrew Rossi-directed Page One: Inside The New York Times has a new trailer. The film made its debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media. Rossi got access to the newsroom of the most powerful newspaper at a time when editors were dealing with the implications of the web, and media reporters were wrestling with stories that included Julian Assange, just as his WikiLeaks organization was beginning to define itself. The film will be released in June and pays particular attention to Timesmen David Carr, Brian Stelter and Tim Arango.
EXCLUSIVE: Participant Media and Magnolia are partnering on the U.S. distribution rights to Andrew Rossi’s Page One. Deal was mid-six figures and a commitment for a strong theatrical release. Participant will provide the backing it did past documentary successes Food Inc, Waiting for Superman and An Inconvenient Truth. The documentary is what director Andrew Rossi brought back after spending 14 months camped out at the media desk of The New York Times. He followed reporters like David Carr and Brian Stelter as they reported on technological changes, the same ones that were walloping the newspaper’s circulation and advertising, causing newsroom layoffs. Deal was brokered by Submarine’s Josh Braun after the film had its premiere on Sunday. IFC, Goldwyn and Magnolia battled late into the evening. When things were well along with Magnolia, Participant Media emerged, and the decision was made to partner.
It’s intriguing the deal comes the same morning that the Times wrote a long article about troubles at rival LA Times, and how that paper is losing standing with homegrown readers. “The conceit of the film was I followed editors and reporters on the media desk as they covered stories about changing technology as the paper itself underwent tumultuous change and layoffs because of that technology,” Rossi told me days ago when Deadline ran a clip about Stelter’s first story involving WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. Here is it again:
One of the Sundance documentaries showing up on buyer priority lists is Page One. Director Andrew Rossi camped out at the media desk of The New York Times for 14 months. Trust me, a chronicle of the day to day activities of out-of-shape journalists ordinarily would be like watching grass grow. But Rossi had timing on his side: he shot while the newspaper was struggling through a print decline that hobbled circulation and advertising. Rossi was on hand when the paper laid off 100 reporters. “The conceit of the film was I followed editors and reporters on the media desk as they covered stories about changing technology as the paper itself underwent tumultuous change and layoffs because of that technology,” Rossi said. Here’s an exclusive clip where reporter Brian Stelter chases an early story about WikiLeaker Julian Assange.