Magnolia Pictures acquired U.S. theatrical, VOD and home entertainment rights to Whitey: The United States Of America V. James J Bulger, the Joe Berlinger-directed docu on notorious Irish gangster Whitey Bulger and the massive law enforcement corruption that allowed …
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.
There are plenty of people working on more than one movie at the Sundance Film Festival this year, but only one musical act pulled double duty Sunday. On a packed party night in Park City, Damon Albarn played a 5-song set at the Sundance Channel HQ in the evening in front of Maggie Gyllenhaal and more. He then hustled down the block to the YouTube On Main Street storefront for a slightly longer show in front of 150 guests at 11 PM. At the two invite-only SRO events, the Blur and Gorillaz frontman performed ballads from both his bands and his upcoming solo album. In both gigs, a string quartet and a keyboardist backed up Albarn, who played acoustic guitar.
In advance of the 2013 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), CNN Films has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to DOCUMENTED, a feature-length film that explores the life – and journey out of the shadows – led by undocumented immigrant and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, it was announced today. DOCUMENTED will premiere on CNN/U.S. in the second quarter of 2014 as a CNN Films broadcast, following its international bow at the IDFA and its theatrical distribution in the United States. DOCUMENTED is written and directed by Vargas, with technology entrepreneur Sean Parker, Matthew Hiltzik (“Paper Clips”), Scott Budnick (“The Hangover” series), and philanthropist Liz Simons as executive producers.
The Hillary Clinton production industry continues to grow. Just two days after NBC announced that it will air a miniseries about her starring Diane Lane, CNN Films today said that they are making a feature-length documentary about the onetime senator, Secretary of State and First Lady. The film will be directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson. In pre-production, the unnamed docu will debut theatrically in 2014 before being shown on the cable news network. No release date or airdate has been set. “I am very excited to be making a film about Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose fascinating life and work embody so many of America’s, and the world’s, hopes and challenges”, said Ferguson, who won the 2011 Documentary Feature Oscar for Inside Job, about the U.S. financial meltdown. “I am delighted and extremely grateful that CNN Films has given me this remarkable opportunity”.
That now makes three Hillary Clinton productions in the works in the lead-up to her expected 2016 presidential run.
At this year’s Sundance several buyers were interested in the Blackfish, the documentary about the notorious killer whale Tilikum that is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top trainer. Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films, which kicked off its sales activities during the festival, …
CNN Films has picked up domestic TV rights to the nuclear power documentary Pandora’s Promise. The cable news network will air the Robert Stone-directed film in November after its theatrical release. Pandora’s Promise made its U.S. debut this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Going inside the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and to Chernobyl, the Oscar-nominated Stone chronicles how nuclear power could provide a solution to climate change and the personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have shifted from being anti-nuclear to favoring of the source. The deal with CNN Films was negotiated by Dan Cogan of Impact Partners and Andrew Herwitz, president of the Film Sales Company on behalf of the filmmakers. Abramorama is handling the film’s domestic theatrical distribution.
Regal Cinemas has picked up Girl Rising, an indie directed by Richard E. Robbins that until now had only been available via on-demand theatrical distribution at crowdsourcing site Gathr. Narrated by Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Chloë Grace Moretz, Liam Neeson, Frieda Pinto, Meryl Streep and Kerry Washington, the social-issues documentary details stories of girls from around the globe who are fighting against their circumstances. Regal has set a week-long engagement starting April 19 in more than 150 theaters across the country. At Gathr, the film generated more than 17,000 screening requests with 65,000 tickets reserved.
“With Girl Rising, we took a risk on a new model of on-demand theatrical distribution, and the leap of faith paid dividends,” said The Documentary Group’s Tom Yellin. “We’ve established a new model for impact filmmaking, to build a movement – and an audience — around a film. Regal joining this effort means an opportunity for people everywhere to see this beautiful and important film.” A portion of all ticket sales at Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres will go to the 10×10 Fund for Girls Education.
EXCLUSIVE: CNN Films has picked up U.S. TV rights to Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare. The two-hour film will air on CNN on March 10 at 8 PM and 11 PM, with encore broadcasts March 16. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival alumni about the flaws, failings and patchwork nature of the nation’s healthcare system was produced and directed by Matthew Heineman and Oscar-nominee Susan Froemke. “CNN Films is very pleased to bring this documentary to television. The physical health of our nation and the cost of healthcare, impact every current fiscal challenge we face. This compelling film gives us an explanation of some of the factors that have contributed to our broken system and explains why we urgently need to fix it,” said network Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in a statement Friday.