HBO, Cinetic pen deal for “New Yorker” cartoonist doc

HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Leah Wolchok's doc Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists (pictured).
July 30, 2015

HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Leah Wolchok‘s Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists (pictured).

Directed and produced by Wolchok, the film takes a look behind the scenes of the iconic American magazine and follows cartoon editor Bob Mankoff as he reviews piles of weekly submissions and pitches to construct a selection of humorous and thought-provoking single-paneled cartoons.

The film, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, also includes interviews with editor David Remnick, graphic novelist Liana Finck, cartoon legends Roz Chast and Mort Gerberg, and a raft of New Yorker staffers.

Davina Pardo produced the film; Regina K. Scully, Deborah Shaffer and the late Bruce Sinofsky served as executive producers; and Joanna Sokolowski co-produced.

The deal was negotiated by Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.

Premium cable service HBO will broadcast the film on December 7 at 9 p.m. EST/PST following a limited theatrical run in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“We are thrilled Very Semi-Serious has found a home at HBO,” said Wolchok in a statement. “The New Yorker cartoons bring insightful humor to the magazine weekly, and we hope the HBO audience enjoys meeting and spending some time with their creators.”

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty