Mark Boal, the journalist-turned-filmmaker who teamed with Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, has formed Page 1. The production company will hatch films and TV that will be backed by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures. She financed Zero Dark Thirty, which Boal wrote and produced. Boal will be CEO and he has named as president Hugo Lindgren, a former editor of The New York Times Magazine and editorial director of New York Magazine. Matthew Budman will be the Annapurna executive overseeing Page 1; he worked closely with Boal on Zero Dark Thirty. Jonathan Leven will be a development/production exec.
Boal and Lindgren will play to their journalist strengths to find articles and books to generate fact-based films. It should be an empowering venture for investigative journalists. “There are great stories being told everyday by reporters who dig deep and provide not only great reportage, but insights into who we are as societies, as nations, as people,” Boal said. “And these are the kinds of stories we want to translate to the big screen.”
Good to see that Boal hasn’t backed off of mixing journalism and filmmaking. While the Oscar aspirations of Zero Dark Thirty were pretty much done in when three U.S. senators decried the depiction of torture as an impetus for locating Osama bin Laden, that movie was a compelling example of storytelling that pushes the envelope, told almost in real time. It was edgy and just plain memorable when not enough movies are that. Boal is represented by CAA and Management 360, both of which are involved in Page 1’s development activities.