FilmRise has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to The Champions – the inspirational doc that follows the journey of five pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s notorious dog fighting ring and those who risked it all to save them.
Directed by Darcy Dennett in her documentary debut, The Champions follows the journey of five dogs rescued from Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring, as they find their way into loving homes, despite opposition from PETA and The Humane Society of the United States.
Making its world premiere in the Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights program at the 23rd Hamptons International Film Festivals, the film is a winner of the 2015 Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award and the People’s Choice Award at the 2015 Denver Film Festival. Directory of Photography, Justin Hanrahan, has also been honored with Australia’s ACS Gold Award for outstanding cinematography in documentary.
“The Champions is a story about hope and resilience, but most importantly, the relationship we as humans have with animals,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher. “We are honored to be bringing its message to a global audience.”
FilmRise will release the film digitally on numerous platforms including iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play and Vudu. The film will also be released on DVD and Blu-ray this winter.
The deal was negotiated by FilmRise CEO, Danny Fisher and FilmRise VP of Acquisitions, Max Einhorn, with Preferred Content’s Zac Bright and Kevin Iwashina, representing the filmmakers, along with legal counsel, Jake Levy, of Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell + Vassallo.
Sundance Winner 'Surge', Starring Ben Whishaw, Gets North America Deal
The Champions is the latest high-profile documentary to be acquired by FilmRise this year. Others include Janis: Little Girl Blue, directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg and produced by Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney; the multiple Emmy-winning Going Clear; and Colin Hanks’ acclaimed music doc All Things Must Pass.
Watch on Deadline
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.