HBO Scores U.S. Rights To Asif Kapadia’s Cannes-Bound Doc ‘Diego Maradona’


HBO has acquired U.S. rights to Amy and Senna director Asif Kapadia’s feature-length documentary Diego Maradona, which will debut at Cannes later this month. Drawing on more than 500 hours of rare footage from the Argentine icon’s personal archives, the documentary charts the trials and triumphs of the legendary footballer during his years at Italian club Napoli.

The film will have its world premiere as an Official Selection (Out Of Competition) at Cannes. HBO, which landed theatrical, streaming and TV rights to the pic, has set a September 24 premiere date on the premium channel, and the pic will get limited qualifying theatrical run in the U.S. before that.

“Diego Maradona has long been considered the greatest footballer ever, and Asif Kapadia’s filmmaking perfectly captures every high and low of his transcendent career, from his controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal to his awakening of Napoli, and more,” commented Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “We look forward to sharing this landmark documentary with both soccer and non-soccer fans alike.”

“My producers and I are delighted to be working with HBO on the release of Diego Maradona in North America,” added Kapadia. “HBO stands for quality, and as long-term fans, we know we’re in great hands. Having spent three intense years working with my brilliant team of collaborators on the most complex charismatic character, Diego Maradona, I’m excited to see how the North American audience reacts. I hope this is the beginning of a long journey together with HBO and Diego.”

The HBO Sports presentation was made in association with On The Corner and Lorton Entertainment; James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin produce; executive producers are Kapadia, George Pank, Will Clarke, Julian Bird and Bil Bungay. For HBO, executive producers are Peter Nelson and Bill Simmons; editor is Chris King; original music comes from Antonio Pinto. Cinetic Media negotiated the deal on the behalf of the filmmakers. Altitude Film Sales reps rights in the rest of the world.

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