Discovery inks deal to air IMAX-produced docs

Up to ten IMAX-produced docs will air globally on Discovery Channel as part of the large-format film producer's first television distribution deal.
February 1, 2016

Up to ten IMAX-produced documentaries will air on Discovery Channel as part of a distribution and marketing partnership between the two companies.

Under the deal, the U.S. cable network will have 18 months of exclusive global television rights for the docs following their theatrical runs on the institutional circuit via the IMAX Original Film Fund.

The agreement marks the first television distribution deal for the giant screen film producer.

In addition to airing the docs, Discovery will also consult on development, production and marketing.

IMAX established the US$50-million fund in 2014 to finance and produce 10 large-format educational docs “that push the envelope of traditional documentary filmmaking for a new generation of moviegoers.”

“Both IMAX and Discovery have reinvested in our legacy business of producing family-focused entertainment – a responsibility that we both hold near and dear to our hearts,” said Greg Foster, senior executive VP of IMAX Corp and CEO of IMAX Entertainment.

“This partnership signifies the importance that Discovery is placing on documentary filmmaking that spurs action. Working with IMAX, we can provide audiences multiple global platforms to experience these important stories,” added Rich Ross, group president for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel.

The partnership is the latest in a string of documentary-focused initiatives Discovery has undertaken since former HBO exec John Hoffman joined the company a year ago to reignite the channel’s documentary production and acquisitions business.

Last month at the Sundance Film Festival, the network announced plans for a “Discovery Impact” series and teamed with the Sundance Institute for an Impact Fellowship. Chasing Ice director Jeff Orlowski is the inaugural Impact Fellow.

Read realscreen’s interview with Hoffman about his doc strategy for 2016 here.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.