Documentary sales action is picking up steam as the Toronto International Film Festival enters mid-week, with the much buzzed-about Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond — Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton being picked up by Netflix.
The streaming giant has picked up worldwide rights for Chris Smith’s exploration of Jim Carrey’s portrayal of iconic and eccentric comedian Andy Kaufman in Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon. Part of Vice Documentary Films’ stable, the film is produced by Spike Jonze and Vice Films’ Danny Gabai and Brendan Fitzgerald.
With approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of the Forman biopic as its backbone, the film captures the process of how Carrey essentially “became” Kaufman and his notorious alter ego, Tony Clifton, during filming — never breaking character on set, and according to recent interviews with Carrey about the film, sometimes remaining in character off set as well.
“For almost two decades this brilliant performance from Jim Carrey has resonated with audiences and fans of Kaufman’s, but the story behind the film — a true piece of entertainment history has remained largely unknown,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of original documentaries for Netflix in a statement. “Chris Smith and Spike Jonze have masterfully unearthed and explored Jim’s complex and artful creative process, hurling audiences right into the mind of a genius.”
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand for Tom Volf’s documentary on opera legend Maria Callas from French distributor MK2. Produced by Petit Dragon, Elephant Doc and Volf Productions, Maria by Callas: In Her Own Words includes Callas’ own Super 8 films, rare archival footage, private live recordings and other materials to provide an intimate look at the globally renowned opera singer.