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SXSW First Look: Jason Kohn Doc ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ Knocks Lid Off Growing Trade In Fake Diamonds

A jeweler examines a diamond in 'Nothing Lasts Forever'

EXCLUSIVE: There’s a saying, “All that glitters isn’t gold.” A variation on that idea might be, “All that sparkles are not diamonds.”

The documentary Nothing Lasts Forever, making its North American premiere at SXSW on Saturday, explores the emergence of “synthetic diamonds” that are infiltrating the pool of natural diamonds, a phenomenon with the potential to completely upend a very lucrative global business.

Jason Kohn (Manda Bala, Love Means Zero), whose grandfather owned a shop next to New York’s diamond district, directed the film. The documentary is heading to Showtime after world premiering last month at the Berlin Film Festival.

“In his travels, [Kohn] befriends a besieged gemologist who is trying to warn the world that lab-grown diamonds are being mixed with mined, natural diamonds, but the industry he’s trying to save refuses to listen,” reads a synopsis of the film. “Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters, from disrupters to miners, mixers and middle-men, Nothing Lasts Forever delves to the heart of what is real and what is fake, calculating the high cost of exposing the truth inside an industry built on secrecy.”

Kohn expresses relief his film will be show in Austin in a cinema, with real moviegoers in attendance.

“When we started making this film over a decade ago, the idea of seeing a non-fiction film in the theater didn’t seem so crazy, it’s why I schlepped huge cinemascope lenses around the world (multiple times!),” Kohn tells Deadline. “I am so grateful that we get to have our North American premiere at an in-person festival, where an audience can experience the film as intended; in a darkened room, on a big screen, and hopefully sitting next to someone wanting, wearing or thinking about buying a diamond.”

The trailer for Nothing Lasts Forever begins with this provocative observation: “People want diamonds because they’ve been told to. None of them are really worth anything and, surprise, your big diamond might be fake!”

Watch the trailer above.

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