Docs

Magnolia Pictures takes Greg Barker’s “The Final Year”

U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures has acquired the worldwide rights to Greg Barker’s feature-length documentary The Final Year. Produced by Passion Pictures and Motto Pictures, The Final Year captures exclusive access to ...
October 18, 2017

U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures has acquired the worldwide rights to Greg Barker’s feature-length documentary The Final Year.

Produced by Passion Pictures and Motto Pictures, The Final Year captures exclusive access to key members of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama’s foreign policy team during their last year in office.

Julie Goldman, John Battsek and Barker served as producers on the film.

The 89-minute documentary pulls the curtain back on the inner workings of the Obama administration as they establish a legacy in preparation of departing office after eight years.

The globe-spanning journey follows the team as they attempt to advance and solidify policies that aim to promote diplomacy over large-scale military action while looking to alter how the U.S. government confronts questions of war and peace, as they prepare to hand over power of the free world to a new administration.

Featured in the film are Secretary of State John Kerry; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; Deputy National Security Adviser and presidential confidant Ben Rhodes; National Security Adviser Susan Rice; and President Obama.

The Final Year held its world premiere this September at the 43rd annual Toronto International Film Festival and is slated to screen as DOC NYC’s opening night film on Nov. 9.

Magnolia will then launch a multi-city theatrical release on the anniversary of the Presidential Inauguration: Jan. 19.

HBO will provide The Final Year with its television premiere when it airs the doc in the second quarter of 2018.

Magnolia’s Dori Begley, co-executive VP, and John Von Thaden, senior VP of acquisitions, negotiated the deal with Submarine’s Josh Braun on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia Pictures International will handle sales outside of the U.S, while Dogwoof represents the film in the UK.

“Many television series and films have attempted to capture the triumphs and failures that occur daily within the West Wing, but none have taken as humanistic an approach as The Final Year,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles in a statement. “Greg Barker has crafted an essential, fly-on-the-wall account of one of the most consequential years of any presidential administration.”

“In many ways this has been the most rewarding film of my career,” added Barker. “To have managed to secure an inside view of the true machinery of the American foreign policy machine was both a privilege and a responsibility, and to see audiences both inspired and moved by The Final Year makes that journey all the more worthwhile and gratifying.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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