American indie distributor Greenwich Entertainment has acquired North American distribution rights to two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple‘s Desert One.
Under terms of the deal, Greenwich will license the North American theatrical and select home entertainment rights for Desert One, which recounts the attempted rescue mission of 52 American citizens on April 1980 who were taken hostage in Tehran during the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
The 107-minute film, which held its world premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, includes unearthed archival sources and audio recordings of President Jimmy Carter liaising with the rescue team, as well as intimate interviews with President Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, Ted Koppel, former hostages, journalists, and Iranian student revolutionaries who orchestrated the take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran.
The film also provides perspective from an Iranian female filmmaking team that captured “overlooked accounts inside the country,” including the story of one from a man who had been an 11-year-old boy riding a bus through the desert on the night of the mission.
Desert One is produced by Cabin Creek Films. Kopple produced and directed the film, with David Cassidy and Eric Forman serving as producers for Cabin Creek Films. Eli Lehrer and Zachary Behr are executive producers for History. Following Greenwich’s theatrical release, Desert One will be broadcast on the A+E cable net.
Cinetic Media negotiated the Desert One deal for Greenwich Entertainment.
“Barbara Kopple is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers of our time, and we are thrilled to partner with Greenwich Entertainment to give Desert One a theatrical release,” said Lehrer, EVP and GM of History, in a statement. “The film is an emotional and compelling look at a story that is not widely known, but has had a lasting impact on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.”
“This was a roller coaster ride of a story well worth telling,” added Kopple, “with important moments about American leadership and gumption and relations with Iran and courage in the face of adversity. I believe it’s a film that could help inspire us in our troubled times. We need a lot of inspiration right now.”