Focus gaining ‘Ground’

Studio drafts military doc

Focus Features has scooped up worldwide rights to Patricia Foulkrod’s “The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends,” a feature docu that follows a half-dozen Americans heading into U.S. military service in Iraq.

Pic, which screened at Sundance this year, charts the soldiers’ recruitment and training, as well as their experiences in combat, coming home and struggling to reintegrate into society.

Pic was produced by Foulkrod with the Plum Pictures and Radioaktivefilm banners.

“Patricia has made a searing film, one with exclusive footage that will stun audiences,” said James Schamus, who was recently named the sole head of Universal specialty arm Focus. “These soldiers are patriotic Americans articulating stories that must be heard.”

Focus had been in talks to nab the pic for months; the deal finally closed when clearance issues were hammered out with Cinetic Media, the pic’s sales rep.

Under Schamus, Focus has been wheeling and dealing of late: Unit just tapped its former production exec Amy Kaufman to produce an untitled thriller, and the banner also recently closed a deal to bring Dean Koontz novel “The Husband” to the bigscreen via its burgeoning partnership with Random House.

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