Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to Kitty Green’s documentary Casting JonBenet, which will have its global premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Documentary Competition later this month.
The documentary, which centers on the 1996 unsolved death of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, is slated to drop on the global SVOD this spring, with a limited theatrical release. Its debut at Sundance marks the first time a nonfiction work from the streaming giant will compete.
It examines the legacy of the child starlet, with filmmakers spending 15 months in the Ramsey’s hometown in Colorado “to elicit responses, reflections and even performances from the local community.”
“In doing so, Casting JonBenet examines how this crime and its resulting mythologies have shaped the attitudes and behavior of successive generations of parents and children,” according to a Netflix statement.
The doc follows Green’s 2015 The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul, which was awarded the short film non-fiction jury prize at Sundance.
Meridian Entertainment financed Casting JonBenet through its production deal with James Schamus’ Symbolic Exchange, and with support from Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Cinereach, Rooftop Films and Garbo NYC.
“Netflix is the ideal home for showcasing Kitty’s sharply-rendered vision of a mythic American tragedy to a global audience, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the crime,” said Netflix VP of original documentary programming Lisa Nishimura in a statement.
Casting JonBenet is a Forensic Films/Matricide Pictures/Symbolic Exchange production.
Photo: Still image from Casting JonBenet