Docs

Extra: Kew Media sells “Leaving Neverland”; iwonder continues global rollout

Leaving Neverland lands in 130+ territories Global sales house Kew Media Distribution, a division of Kew Media Group, has sent Dan Reed‘s two-part documentary film Leaving Neverland into more than 130 ...
March 4, 2019

Leaving Neverland lands in 130+ territories

Global sales house Kew Media Distribution, a division of Kew Media Group, has sent Dan Reed‘s two-part documentary film Leaving Neverland into more than 130 territories.

Produced by Reed’s Amos Pictures for HBO and Channel 4, the two-part doc explores the experiences of James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age seven, who both allege that they were befriended and sexually abused by legendary musician Michael Jackson – who was acquitted of the molestation charges in 2005 and died in 2009.

The host of individual and pan-territory deals follow the film’s world television premiere in the U.S. on HBO Sunday night (March 3) and ahead of its UK premiere via Channel 4 later this week.

Among the line-up of channels that have acquired the documentary are ProSiebenSAT.1 Group in Germany, Network 10 Australia, HBO Latin America, DR Denmark, VPRO Netherlands, SVT Sweden, Channel One Russia, VRT Belgium, TVNZ New Zealand, Yes Israel, Amedia TV Russia, YLE Finland, FOX Networks Group Asia, Front Row Filmed Entertainment in the Middle East, RUV Iceland, M6 France, Movistar+ Spain and HBO Europe operating in Central Europe.

An additional number of deals are currently in the final stages of negotiation.

iwonder continues global rollout

Documentary and current affairs VOD iwonder has launched its streaming service in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Beginning today (March 4), subscribers in the three territories will have access to 500-plus hours of iwonder’s documentary programming across the spectrum of entertainment, sports, history, politics, science and technology, religion, music, movies, nature, war and biographies.

Titles in the media organization’s library include Adam Bhala Lough’s politically relevant Alt-Right: Age of Rage, Greg Barker’s Legion of Brothers, Peter Webber’s population explosion film Ten Billion, and Mat de Koning’s rags-to-riches doc Meal Tickets.

The Singapore-based company previously launched to more than 15 million users across Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East via SVOD platform iflix in June 2018.

iwonder is expected to roll out to English-speaking Europe and Canada in 2019.

The platform is said to use a proprietary algorithm that identifies and licenses a selection of the most popular and best-reviewed documentaries in order to curate its content collection, according to iwonder co-founder Mark Bridges.

iwonder is available for a monthly $6.99 fee, or $69.99 for an annual subscription.

Writers Guild of Canada announces 2019 noms 

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has unveiled the nominees for the 2019 WGC Screenwriting Awards, honoring the best of the best in Canadian screenwriting, acknowledging the talent behind the creation of the most engaging and powerful Canadian-made TV, films, documentaries and webseries.

The noms include three documentary features: Michael McNamara for Catwalk: Tales From the Cat Show Circuit, Sarah Fodey for The Fruit Machine and Christine Nielson for Jumbo: The Life of an Elephant Superstar.

The winners will be announced at the 2019 WGC Awards, now in its 23rd year, on April 29.

From Playback Daily

ABC bolsters documentary programming

Australian pubcaster ABC has bolstered its lineup of documentary programming with the blue-chip documentary feature The Australian Dream, Australia Remastered and Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra.

The Australian Dream features Australian rules football player Adam Goodes who was racially vilified during an AFL match. The feature chronicles Goodes and the national conversation around racism after this incident. The dual Brownlow Medallist and Australian of the Year winner retired from the sport in 2015 citing stress caused by the long-term expressions of racism against him.

This feature-length documentary is an official co-production from Good Thing Productions and Passion Pictures (UK) with Madman Distribution. Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria, has provided principal production investment.

Elsewhere, the eight-part docuseries Australia Remastered from Wildbear Entertainment utilizes archive from the Australian pubcaster to tell stories of the latest discoveries in natural history, history and science. ABC Commercial will serve as the worldwide distributor of the series.

Wrapping up ABC’s new commissions is a factual drama hybrid film that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Australian dance company, Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Produced by In Films and co-directed by Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin, Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra examines the dance company through the eyes of long-standing artistic director Stephen Page. The film will convey critical moments in the Bangarra story in dance sequences, exclusively choreographed for the film.

Written by Selina Chignall

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