‘Newton’ gets look

Overseas arm nabs Apted docu on science

First Look Pictures, a division of Robbie Little’s Overseas Filmgroup, has acquired from Paul Allen’s Clear Blue Sky Prods. the North American theatrical rights to Michael Apted’s feature doc “Me and Isaac Newton.”

Film, which preemed at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival, was produced by Jody Patton (“Titus”) and Eileen Gregory (“Honest”). It was awarded the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Florida Film Festival. A November release is planned.

A feature-length doc, “Me and Isaac Newston” is a journey into the hearts and minds of seven distinguished scientists — ages 38 to 81. And while some are pioneers in new fields of research, others have solved mysteries that are centuries old. Through the pic, the scientists reveal what inspires and motivates them.

Among those whose work is documented in “Me” is theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, co-founder of string theory, who pursues Einstein’s dream to find a unified theory of everything

Apted has directed such features as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Gorillas in the Mist” and “The World Is Not Enough.” His docs include “Moving the Mountain,” “Incident at Oglala” and the “Seven Up” — the docu that made his name.

“I wanted this film to be seen by as large an audience as possible, so I’m thrilled that First Look is releasing it,” Apted said. “When a film is released theatrically, it is written about, talked about, and has a chance of entering the culture. My purpose in making the film is to humanize the sciences — which affect everything we do. … So few kids go into science nowadays, I felt it was especially important to reach young people and inspire them with role models who were not only charismatic, but who spoke a language they would understand.”

In limited release for First Look Pictures are “A Map of the World,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore, and “The Opportunists,” starring Christopher Walken and Cyndi Lauper.

Last year, First Look was the domestic distributor of the doc “Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember,” a tribute to one of world cinema’s greatest talents, directed by Anna Maria Tato.

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