Peter Berg Starts Film 45 Non-Scripted Company; Rihanna Documentary, Special Forces Series Among First Projects

Filmmaker Peter Berg (Lone Survivor), principal of film/TV production company Film 44, has launched a new production company, Film 45, focused on non-scripted and branded entertainment for film, TV and other platforms. Film 45 formalizes a partnership between Berg and TV/documentary producer Matthew Goldberg (CNN’s The Sixties), who have been working together on Berg’s HBO Sports series On Freddie Roach and State Of Play. Goldberg serves as President of Film 45, which is based in Santa Monica.

One of the first projects that Film 45 will produce is a theatrical feature documentary about music superstar Rihanna, which Berg will direct. A contemporary take on the 1967 Bob Dylan rock doc Dont Look Back, the film is described as an “unfiltered look into Rihanna’s life and how she’s ascended to become a global icon.” Berg, who gave Rihanna her acting start with a role in his movie Battleship, said that he liked the idea of examining “a young artist at the top of her professional field” and that the project will be “much more a character study than a music film.”

stateofplay1Film 45 is currently in production on an 8-episode second season of State Of Play for HBO, which again explores controversial topics in sports and their relevance to society. Among the issues tackled in Season 1 were the struggles of retired NFL players.

Additionally, Film 45 is developing a documentary for HBO about legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum, a key player behind the upcoming blockbuster Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.

Recently, Film 45 set up an 8-part docu series at the History Channel where Goldberg previously worked on the Gettysburg documentary. In the vein of Berg’s box office hit Lone Survivor, the series, which will premiere in the fall, will detail heroic first-person accounts by U.S. Special Forces. It will feature interviews and cinematic recreations to tell stories of triumphs and tragedies in the modern battleground. Berg and Goldberg executive produce with Brandon Carroll.

‘Matt and I both share strong respect for the men and women who serve our country, it is something we are personally passionate about,” Berg said. “That’s a type of content we want to explore.”

That includes a digital series Film 45 has in development, Call & Answer. Part modern day VFW, part TED talk, Call & Answer is aimed at the armed forces community and will cover such topics as stories of valor, innovations in vet resources, leadership, and the transition out of service. Guest speakers will range from former Presidents to authors, entrepreneurs and veterans, with Matterhorn: A Novel Of The Vietnam War author Karl Marlantes author eyed as first speaker. 

Whether they are feature-length or made-for-TV, Film 45’s projects “will fit the style and the aesthetics of our brand which, for most part, is cinema verite.” said Berg. Added Goldberg, “We are telling authentic, soulful stories.” In addition to developing original material, Film 45, repped by WME and attorney David Matlof, will house full-scale production and post-production services.

Goldberg previously spent a decade working at Herzog and Co., serving the past three years as its president. Film 44 is gearing up for production on two movies this year, Deepwater Horizon and Mile 22. On the TV side, the company is producing the HBO series The Leftovers and Ballers.

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