Docs

SXSW: Conan doc lands multi-platform distrib

Rodman Flender's documentary Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, which premiered this week at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, has landed a multi-platform theatrical, video-on-demand (VOD) and home video distribution deal.
March 15, 2011

Rodman Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, which premiered this week at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, has landed a multi-platform theatrical, video-on-demand (VOD) and home video distribution deal.

The film is to be distributed theatrically by Abramorama, which has previously steered theatrical campaigns for docs including Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Exit Through The Gift Shop. The distributor will launch the film across the US with special theatrical ‘event’ screenings.

In addition, Magnolia Home Entertainment has come onboard. It will release the film via VOD following the exclusive window on U-Verse TV, after which Magnolia will release the film onto DVD and other digital platforms.

“Conan has a very large and passionate fan base and we’re excited to give them an exclusive, first-look at this documentary on the AT&T U-verse platform of their choice,” said Dan York, president of content at AT&T. “This deal is another example of how we continue to deliver unique content to our customers across all screens and platforms.”

The doc has proven a hit with audiences at SXSW in Texas, where it screened. It follows the comedian and talk show host on a 32-city music-and-comedy tour, following his departure from NBC’s Tonight Show last year – a move which saw O’Brien ending a 22-year relationship with the U.S. network.

“For a film like ours, and with Conan at its centre, it was imperative that we not follow typical business models in the release of this film,” said the film’s producers, Gavin Polone and Rachel Griffin, in a joint statement.

“This distribution deal has been structured in a way that satisfies our audience in every possible manner, and allows people to see the film on whichever platform they most prefer – be it on a big screen in a dark theatre which lots of other fans or the small screen of their choice.

“As part of this deal, AT&T will provide exclusive content related to the film to their customers – both on U-verse TV and also on AT&T mobile devices.”

The deal was negotiated by Liesl Copland at WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers, with Brent Imai and Richard Wellerstein at AT&T, Abramorama founder Richard Abramowitz, and Tom Quinn at Magnolia Home Entertainment.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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