Producers Distribution Agency (PDA), the indie set up by Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Bart Walker, has picked up SXSW Audience Award-winner Brooklyn Castle (pictured), setting an October 19 theatrical release date for the chess doc.
The documentary follows the students and teachers at I.S. 318, an inner-city school in Brooklyn that has the highest achieving junior high school chess team in the United States.
The film caused a stir following its world premiere at SXSW in Texas earlier this year, when Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin optioned the remake rights to the film, before it had even signed a distribution or TV deal.
It went on to pick up the festival’s Documentary Feature Spotlight Audience Award, and had subsequent screenings at Hot Docs, Silverdocs and the Brooklyn Film Festival.
In a statement, the filmmaking team – director and producer Katie Dellamaggiore, editor and producer Nelson Dellamaggiore, and director of photography and producer Brian Schulz – said: “We are extremely excited to be working with the PDA team.
“Their comprehensive, roll-up-your sleeves distribution methodology perfectly fits the subject matter and numerous target audiences for the film.”
Brooklyn Castle will be the fourth PDA release, following Senna, The Way and Exit through the Gift Shop. PDA’s Sloss said that the doc “is exactly the kind of film that fits with the PDA approach to distribution.
“We believe this film is hugely playable and will resonate not only with those who are interested in the future of our country’s educational system, and the millions of chess players in the U.S., but also the traditional documentary audience, and everyone who loves a great story, well told,” he added.
“The film has significant crossover potential. All of us at PDA have fallen in love with these kids and their inspiring stories.”