Docs

PBS takes North American rights to “Charm City”

American pubcaster PBS has acquired the North American distribution rights to two-time Emmy Award-winner Marilyn Ness‘ intimate documentary Charm City. The 106-minute film, which held its world premiere at the 2018 ...
June 26, 2018

American pubcaster PBS has acquired the North American distribution rights to two-time Emmy Award-winner Marilyn Ness‘ intimate documentary Charm City.

The 106-minute film, which held its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, provides a candid portrait of citizens, police, community advocates and government officials in an embattled Baltimore community as they endure three years of escalating violence.

PBS Distribution will release the film in theaters this fall following a festival and community screening campaign. PBS’ long-time documentary strand ‘Independent Lens’ will then broadcast the film in the spring of 2019.

Charm City is produced by Big Mouth Productions in association with Motto Pictures and the Webber/Gilbert Fund.

Katy Chevigny serves as producer on the film alongside Ness. Dana DiCarlo, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn are executive producers.

PBS Distribution handles all home entertainment, digital, educational/non-theatrical and Canadian rights to the film.

The deal was negotiated by Emily Rothschild and Lois Vossen on behalf of PBS/ITVS and Annie Roney from ro*co films on behalf of the filmmakers.

Charm City is an intimate, sobering, and ultimately hopeful look at life in post-Freddie Gray Baltimore,” said PBS Distribution’s head of theatrical distribution, Erin Owens, in a statement. “Through its beautiful characters, we see the complexities and the dynamics that define so many American cities today. We deeply believe in this film’s potential to foster a dialogue between marginalized communities and law enforcement — a dialogue that is horribly overdue.”

“I was deeply moved by this film and its powerful examination of institutionalized poverty and violence in formerly red-lined neighborhoods of Baltimore,” added Vossen, ‘Independent Lens’ executive producer. “The beautifully edited sequences root the current situation in a larger context so we understand how we got here, and Marilyn’s thoughtful direction forces the viewer to look at this complex issue from multiple perspectives. You can’t help but have a visceral response to the daily grind of cops, people living in the neighborhood, and city officials looking to make change.”

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 HMV.com. 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.

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