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TF1 tsking docu on a ride o’seas

Company grabs 'Bull' by horns to distrib

NEW YORK — “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls,” documaker Kenneth Bowser’s chronicle of the creative ferment that reinvigorated Hollywood in the 1970s, has been acquired by TF1 Intl. for worldwide television and video distribution outside the U.S.

Premiered as the opening film at this year’s Slamdance fest in January and subsequently shown to critical acclaim on popular arts cable web Trio, the film was adapted from the bestselling 1998 book by Peter Biskind.

A co-production of the Fremantle Corp. and the BBC in association with Submarine Entertainment and Cactus 3, pic was produced by Rachel Talbot and Bowser, with Josh Braun serving as exec producer. The BBC will premiere the film in the U.K. this month.

“I am very pleased that we’ve worked out an arrangement with a prestigious distributor such as TF1 Intl.,” Bowser said. “After the great response domestically, we’re even more excited about having international audiences see it.”

“TF1 Intl. is very happy to have the opportunity to distribute such a prestigious and international documentary about the entertainment business,” added Annabel Bighetti of TF1 Intl., the Paris-based distribution arm of the TF1 Group. “We introduced ‘Easy Riders’ during Mip TV in Cannes, and the market gave it a warm welcome.”

Cutting-edge filmmaking

Docu recaps the turbulent period from the late ’60s through the 1970s, and the radical changes wrought on the film industry by a cutting-edge group of maverick filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Hal Ashby, Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin and Arthur Penn, spawned by raised political consciousness and a rapidly changing cultural and social scene.

Narrated by William H. Macy, the film includes interviews with Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart, Ellen Burstyn, Roger Corman, Dennis Hopper, John Milius, Michael Phillips and Paul Schrader, among others.

Bowser, Talbot and Braun previously collaborated on the Bravo network documentary “Hollywood DC: A Tale of Two Cities.” Bowser also made the Emmy-winning docus “Frank Capra’s American Dream” and “Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer,” written by Variety chief film critic Todd McCarthy.

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