Sundance ’14: BBC ‘Storyville’ acquires “Web Junkie”

The BBC picked up UK television rights for the doc, which examines a Chinese Internet addiction treatment facility, from London-based distributor Dogwoof.
January 20, 2014

BBC doc strand ‘Storyville’ has acquired the British TV rights to Web Junkie (pictured) from London-based distributor Dogwoof.

The documentary, which was directed by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia and exec produced by Morgan Spurlock, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and focuses on Chinese teenagers undergoing treatment at a Beijing clinic to cure their online addictions.

Web Junkie is the most wonderful film. It poses important questions. First, does Internet addiction rate as a psychological disorder? Secondly, if it is, what can be done about it?” said ‘Storyville’ editor Nick Fraser in a statement. “The narrative begins with the sense that teenagers are being brutalized out of addiction in China. Then, gradually, it is possible to see that there may be a real method in the treatment of addicts by Chinese authorities. I was pretty much convinced that Internet addiction does exist – and I had a sneaking admiration for the re-educative efforts.”

The film will air on BBC ‘Storyville’ in winter.

Web Junkie was produced by Neta Zwebner-Zaibert and executive produced by Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, and Eve Ensler.

‘Storyville’ has previously acquired such Dogwoof-distributed films as Blackfish, Cutie and The Boxer, Muscle Shoals and Girl Model. 

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 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.