CNN Films has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie, an examination of the rise and tumultuous career of the controversial talk show host.
Produced and directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger of Ironbound Films, the film made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012, and was a realscreen MIPCOM Pick for that year. Through explosive archival footage and revealing interviews with friends, contemporaries and occasional targets of the mercurial “Mort,” the film explores his appeal in the late Eighties, as well as the personal issues that helped shape his on-screen persona and the fractious behind-the-scenes environment that frequently pitted Downey Jr. against production executives and sponsors.
The CNN Films acquisition was brokered by Dori Begley, senior vice president of acquisitions on behalf of Magnolia Pictures; and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions, and Stacey Wolf, vice president of business affairs, on behalf of CNN. Josh Braun, David Koh and Dan Braun of Submarine negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.
“Evocateur is a wonderful portrait of an influential, controversial, larger-than-life man,” said Malhotra in a statement. “Morton Downey, Jr., left his mark on American television and set the tone – for better or worse – for much of the modern-day debates we see play out on television now.”
“Morton Downey, Jr. knew confrontation made good TV. His story, more relevant than ever, is of how far that can be taken,” added Ironbound Films co-founder Miller.
The film will make its CNN U.S. debut on August 13 at 9 p.m. EST.