CNN Films, Magnolia take rights to Jimmy Carter, Shane MacGowan docs, respectively

CNN Films has acquired the North American broadcast rights to Mary Wharton’s feature documentary Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President. The film (pictured) was scheduled to open at the 19th Tribeca ...
June 11, 2020

CNN Films has acquired the North American broadcast rights to Mary Wharton’s feature documentary Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President.

The film (pictured) was scheduled to open at the 19th Tribeca Film Festival in April prior to the event’s postponement as a result of COVID-19. It will now close the AFI Docs Film Festival on June 21.

Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President chronicles the role of popular music in propelling a relatively unknown candidate from Georgia to the White House, and the role that music played in Carter’s life and work.

The film illustrates how Carter’s appreciation for all genres of music — and friendships with the likes of Bob Dylan, Gregg Allman, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash and Willie Nelson — helped to define his administration.

It combines interviews with Carter and an “eclectic” cast of contributors including Nelson, Bono, Dylan, Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffet, Chuck Leavell, Paul Simon, Roseanne Cash, Andrew Young and Madeline Albright.

Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President also includes live performances from Nelson, Buffet, Simon and Dylan, among others.

The film is a Not Just Peanuts production. Chris Farrell is producer with Dave Kirckpatrick. Executive producers include Dan Braun, Peter Conlon, David Crawford and Wharton.

The deal was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, SVP of business affairs for CNN Worldwide on behalf of CNN Films, and by Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

Farrell and Wharton in a statement said: “When we started this journey two-and-one-half years ago, our goal was to tell an interesting and surprising story about President Carter and his relationship with music, in the hopes that it would make people see him in a new light. Being able to share the film with millions of Americans through this deal with CNN Films is a significant step towards achieving that goal.”

Elsewhere, Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to Crock of Gold — A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, directed by Julien Temple.

The film, still in production, chronicles the life of The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, whose facility for writing lyrics has created some of the “world’s most iconic songs.”

Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan includes unseen archival footage from the band and MacGowan’s family, as well as animation from illustrator Ralph Steadman, to spotlight the Irish voaclist up to his 60th birthday celebration.

Magnolia is eyeing a release for later this year.

The film is produced by Temple through Nitrate Film together with Johnny Depp and Stephen Deuters through Depp’s prodco Infinitum Nihil and Stephen Malt.

It is produced in association with BBC Music, Warner Music Entertainment and HanWay Films.

Jan Younghusband, head of music commissioning, is executive producer for BBC Music; Steven Lappin is EP for Warner Music Entertainment together with Jeremy Thomas of Recorded Picture Company, Gerry O’Boyle, Manish Patel and Sam Sarkar.

Victoria Mary Clarke is associate producer.

HanWay Films has worldwide sales rights. Altitude Films will distribute the film in the UK and Ireland and it will be broadcast on BBC4.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden, and by HanWay Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

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.