You knew it was coming: A movie of Barack Obama's historic election as the nation's first African-American president. Sony Pictures tells Whispers that it has acquired the rights to distribute the HBO documentary By t he People: The Election of Barack Obama. In describing the film, the media giants say that the previously untitled flick won't be just a collage of biographical and campaign video. Added will be interviews with staffers and campaign aides to give us a behind-the-scenes look at life in Obamaland. It ought to be pretty polished: Ed Nortons Class 5 Films did the work.
Here's what Sony sent us:
SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE ACQUISITIONS GROUP ACQUIRES
SELECT RIGHTS TO THE HBO / CLASS 5 FILMS DOCUMENTARY
BY THE PEOPLE: The Election of Barack Obama
Sony Pictures Television to Handle International Television,
Mobile and New Media Distribution
CULVER CITY, CA (April 8, 2009) - Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has acquired all media rights internationally (excluding UK television) and domestic home entertainment rights to the previously untitled documentary feature film BY THE PEOPLE: The Election of Barack Obama . The announcement was made today by Steve Bersch, President, SPWAG and Keith Le Goy, President, International Distribution, Sony Pictures Television (SPT).
Produced by Edward Norton's Class 5 Films and directed by Amy Rice (From Ashes) and Alicia Sams (Toots), BY THE PEOPLE: The Election of Barack Obama will be released theatrically in the U.S. by HBO Documentary Films. The documentary follows the former Senator from the announcement of his candidacy to his historic election and inauguration as the first African American president of the United States. Told through unprecedented and exclusive footage of Obama and his staff, the film offers viewers an all-access pass to campaign life on the road to the White House.
"This remarkable film gives us a unique behind-the-scenes look at a truly transformative event. The filmmakers have done a beautiful job of creating a compelling narrative, and we are proud to be able to make the film available to the global market," said Steve Bersch, President, SPWAG.
"Obama's election was, clearly, a global event which people all over the world felt deeply about on both political and emotional levels. From the start, it was very important to us to share this film with as broad an international audience as possible and we're really thrilled to be partnered with Sony in trying to achieve this because no company has more experience or reach in both the world markets and home video," said Producer Edward Norton.
Sony Pictures Television is handling sales for TV (outside the U.S. and U.K.), mobile and new media.
Keith Le Goy, President, International Distribution, SPT stated: stated: "The election of Barack Obama to president of the United States was one of the most important world events in 2008. The film allows viewers to experience Obama's rise and we are thrilled to be the international distributor of the official film documenting this historic event."
The film was financed by GOOD, Green Film Company, Citi Productions and Class 5 Films. Class 5 Films credits include The Painted Veil, Down in the Valley, Keeping the Faith and Leaves of Grass.
The deal was brokered by Andrew Hurwitz and Endeavor on behalf of the filmmakers.
About Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). SPE is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 100 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment around the world and for every platform: broadcast and cable television, first-run and off-network syndication and digital distribution. In addition to one of the industry's largest libraries of feature films and television shows, SPT boasts a current program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT is also a leader in the field of international television production with over 9,000 hours of programming in 13 local languages in over 30 countries. To better serve its clients and partners worldwide, SPT maintains offices throughout the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the People's Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SPT's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with over 50 networks in more than 130 countries reaching almost 400 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE's premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT is a part owner of cable channel GSN, FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service, and national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT's syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony Music Entertainment and for the Tennis Channel. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
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