Magnolia Pictures Acquires North American Rights to COUNTDOWN TO ZERO
This Info Is From Magnolia Pictures:
Magnolia Pictures Acquires North American Rights to COUNTDOWN TO ZERO from Participant Media
HISTORY™ acquires North American Broadcast Rights
New York – February 12, 2010 – The Wagner/Cuban Companies’ Magnolia Pictures announced today that it has acquired North American theatrical rights to COUNTDOWN TO ZERO, a stunning documentary about the escalating global nuclear arms crisis that recently bowed at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition, Participant announced that HISTORY™ channel has acquired… the US television broadcast rights. Written and directed by acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker (The Devil’s Playground, Blindsight), the film features an array of important international statesmen, including President Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair. It makes a compelling case for worldwide nuclear disarmament, an issue more topical than ever with the Obama administration working to revive this goal today. Valerie Plame Wilson, who is also featured in the film, spoke and introduced a clip from COUNTDOWN TO ZERO at the annual TED Conference in Long Beach yesterday, and a screening for TED attendees took place at a nearby theater last night. Additionally, it screened earlier this month in Paris for select attendees of this year’s Global Zero Summit.
“Lucy Walker’s COUNTDOWN TO ZERO is a tremendous achievement,” said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. “It’s beautifully composed and powerfully compelling. Above all it has an incredibly important message that the world needs to hear—sooner rather than later.”
COUNTDOWN TO ZERO traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. The film was produced by Academy Award® winner and current nominee Lawrence Bender (Inglorious Basterds, An Inconvenient Truth) and developed, financed and executive produced by Participant Media, together with World Security Institute. Participant collaborated with Magnolia on last year’s Food, Inc., recently nominated for an Academy Award®, and the upcoming CASINO JACK and the United States of Money. Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Bruce Blair and Matt Brown are the film’s executive producers. Magnolia is planning a theatrical release for COUNTDOWN TO ZERO later this year.
Bender said, “The peril of nuclear terrorism or accident has us closer to Armageddon then most people realize. This film is an opportunity to communicate the danger and the urgent need for our world to be more secure, and one day free of nuclear arms.”
Ricky Strauss, Participant Media President, said, “After the great success of Food, Inc. and the excitement building around our collaboration on Casino Jack and the United States of Money, we are very pleased to be again joining with our good friends at Magnolia for the release of Countdown to Zero. With Magnolia releasing the film and a History Channel broadcast premiere we’re confident that this film will have a lasting impact on an issue so crucial to the survival of the human race.”
“We are very excited to be partnering with Participant Media on this important film,” said Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager, HISTORY. “This film has been beautifully shot by Lucy Walker. It already has tremendous buzz that is resonating worldwide. We feel strongly that a film like this will most certainly make history and we are proud to be able to share this with our passionate viewers.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Josh Braun and Jason Janego of Submarine and Jeff Ivers, COO of Participant Media with SVP Tom Quinn and VP of Acquisitions Dori Begley for Magnolia and with Peter Gaffney for HISTORY.
About Magnolia Pictures
Magnolia Pictures (www.magpictures.com) is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain, the production company 2929 Productions, and the high definition cable network HDNet. Magnolia’s recent releases include such critically acclaimed films as James Gray’s Two Lovers, John Woo’s Red Cliff, Robert Kenner’s smash hit documentary Food, Inc, James Marsh’s Oscar-winning Man On Wire, Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience, Kirby Dick’s Outrage, Erick Zonca’s Julia, Lynn Shelton’s Humpday, and Bobcat Goldthwait’s World’s Greatest Dad. Upcoming releases include Bong Joon-Ho’s Mother, Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love, Oscar-winner Alex Gibney’s Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse, Neil Jordan’s Ondine, Dagur Kari’s The Good Heart and many more.
About Participant Media
Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television, as well as publishing and digital media. Participant Media is headed by CEO Jim Berk and was founded in 2004 by philanthropist Jeff Skoll, who serves as Chairman. Ricky Strauss is President.
Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night and Good Luck., Syriana, Standard Operating Procedure, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc. and The Informant!
About The History Channel
HISTORY™ and HISTORY HD™ are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, How The Earth Was Made, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and The Universe, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, King, Life After People, Nostradamus: 2012, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and WWII in HD. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at www.history.com, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games, podcasts and more.
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