Content Media’s Janis Joplin documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue is seeing a lot of interest this week during AFM, and has already sold to buyers in several major markets worldwide. Close to home, FilmRise has picked up the U.S. theatrical rights, and plans to release the film in New York and Los Angeles November 27, with an expansion to other select cities due in December. Following theatrical release, the film will have its exclusive broadcast premiere in 2016 on PBS’ American Masters series.
Meanwhile, theatrical release is confirmed for France, Germany and Poland in January, with the U.K. and Japan following sometime in Q1 2016. The film has already been released to acclaim in Italy. All total, rights were sold to: Australia/NZ (Transmission); Benelux (VPRO & Periscoop/FU Works); Colombia (Cine Colombia); Denmark (Camera Film & Dr Bryen); Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF); Finland (YLE); France (Happiness Distribution); Germany/Austria (Arsenal Filmverleih); Iceland (RUV); Israel (DBS); Italy (I-Wonder) Japan (Medallion Media); Mexico (Star Castle Distribution); Norway (NRK); Poland (Mayfly); Portugal (Lusomundo); Russia CIS (Channel 1); Spain (Avalon); Sweden (SVT); Switzerland (Xenix); the UK (BBC and Dogwoof); the US (FilmRise) and Airlines & Ships (Jaguar).
Telling the story of the hard living, highly influential singer songwriter who died in 1970, Janis: Little Girl Blue was written and directed by Amy Berg. The film examines the vulnerable, frequently depressed woman behind the publicly happy facade who channeled her intense emotions into her music and self-medicated with drugs and alcohol, mixing rare footage of Joplin as well as her music, along with readings from her own letters by musician Chan Marshall (AKA Cat Power).
Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief) is producing through his Jigsaw Productions banner, along with Berg, and Jeff Jampol. It’s executive produced by Susan Lacy, Michael Kantor for American Masters, Noah Haeussner, Michael Raimondi, and Stacey Offman. The film is a coproduction by Disarming Films, Jigsaw productions, and Thirteen Productions LLC in association with Sony Music Entertainment and UEG.
International Film Trust has announced two new hires, bringing on Todd Olsson as a sales consultant, and Kenner Bolt for the newly-created position of Director of Acquisitions. Olsson most recently served as Co-President of Ironclad Films, responsible for development from script to final release. His other previous jobs include Senior Vice President International of Lakeshore Entertainment, Senior Vice President of Sobini Films at Lionsgate, Vice President of Feature Films at GRB Entertainment, Vice President of International Sales and Acquisitions at Behaviour/MDP Worldwide/Media 8, and Director of Acquisitions at the Walt Disney Company.
At IFT, Olsson will report directly to IFT founder Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures, working alongside IFT Director of Sales Kevin Hoiseth, and Head of Marketing and Communications Marcin Janowski. He’ll work across the company’s upcoming slate of films, among them Werner Herzog’s Salt And Fire (starring Michael Shannon and Gael García Bernal), Bleeding Heart (starring Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet), and You Shall Know Our Velocity (starring Daniel Radcliffe), based on the best selling novel by Dave Eggers.
Bolt was previously a Sales and Marketing Executive at London and LA-based consultancy company MediaXchange, where she spearheaded outreach on behalf of clients through film financing roundtables held at Cannes, Berlinale and AFM along with MX’s Film Finance Forum. Prior to that, she held positions at The Ardmore Group and The Gersh Agency, NYC. At IFT, Bolt will work closely with third party producers and agencies, sourcing and acquiring completed and in development feature film projects with an eye for worldwide appeal through IFT’s sales pipeline.