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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.