Docs

MIPTV ’14: WOWOW, HBO, BBC back Scorsese’s “50 Year Argument”

Japanese network WOWOW is uniting with HBO Documentary Films and BBC Arena to coproduce Martin Scorsese's forthcoming documentary The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument.
April 8, 2014

Japanese network WOWOW is uniting with HBO Documentary Films and BBC Arena to coproduce Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming documentary The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument.

Scorsese (pictured above) is co-directing the film with his long-time documentary collaborator David Tedeschi, and is coproducing through his indie Sikelia Productions. Israel’s Cinephil (The Act of Killing, The Gatekeepers) is handling international sales and is presenting the project to international buyers at MIPTV here in Cannes.

The documentary, which screened as a work-in-progress at the Berlinale in Germany in February this year, looks at the titular American journal of ideas, which was founded during the New York City newspaper strike of 1963. It promises rarely seen archival material, contributor interviews, and excerpts from writers such as as James Baldwin, Gore Vidal and Joan Didion, with original vérité footage filmed in the Review‘s New York office.

“It’s only fitting that such an iconic magazine has such an iconic director bringing it to life as a feature film,” said Kayo Washio, the head of WOWOW’s Los Angeles office, in a statement. “I can’t think of anyone better to tell this unique story than Martin Scorsese, and am extremely excited to be involved with a project that everyone, including ourselves, is so passionate about.”

WOWOW takes Japanese rights and joins HBO and the BBC as the latest network to board the project, with Washio joining as an exec producer alongside BBC Arena’s Anthony Wall. The film is being produced by Scorsese, Tedeschi and Margaret Bodde.

The deal was negotiated by Washio and Cinephil MD Philippa Kowarsky, who previously worked together to lock in WOWOW as the Japanese partner for Wim Wenders’ 3D series Cathedrals of Culture, which the Israeli sales agent is also repping at MIPTV.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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