TIFF ’14: Magnolia, CNN nab “Sunshine Superman”

U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures and TV network CNN have acquired the North American rights to BASE-jumping doc Sunshine Superman (pictured), following its world premiere in Toronto.
September 15, 2014

U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films have acquired the North American rights to BASE-jumping doc Sunshine Superman (pictured), following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Magnolia Pictures picked up the theatrical, VoD and home entertainment rights, and will release the film in theaters next years, while CNN Films acquired the U.S. television broadcast distribution rights and will debut the doc on the network in 2016.

Universal Pictures International Entertainment nabbed the international sales rights for the doc ahead of its September 4 world premiere at TIFF, as previously reported.

The documentary, from first-time feature filmmaker Marah Strauch, is a portrait of Carl Boenish, who is recognized as the father of BASE-jumping – a sport in which participants jump from a cliff or building and quickly open a parachute to break their fall. Boenish filmed the early days of the sport by mounting cameras to jumpers’ heads in order to provide a bird’s eye point-of-view of the fall.

The film is produced by Scissor Kick Films, Flimmer Films and Submarine Entertainment, with documentarian Alex Gibney among its group of executive producers.

“Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films are the perfect partners for Sunshine Superman, a film about taking risks and following your dreams,” said director Strauch in a statement. “We are very excited to share our film with people all across the country and to be working with a team that understands the power of documentaries that not only change the world, but also entertain.”

Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles added: “Sunshine Superman is a breathtakingly exciting work, and only partly because of the amazing aerial feats of the Boenishes. The dramatic sweep of the story rivals the footage of the jumps to deliver an incredible journey for the audience.”

The distribution deal was negotiated by Josh Braun, Dan Braun and David Koh of U.S. sales agent Submarine on behalf of the producers, with Magnolia’s Dori Begley and John Van Thaden, and CNN Films’ Vinnie Malhotra and Stacey Wolf.

The film will next screen at the New York Film Festival on October 6 and 7.

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