Passion for documentaries

Battsek, Ruhemann team with Chinn, Goldman

Looking to bolster its feature documentary slate, John Battsek and Andrew Ruhemann’s Passion Pictures is teaming with Simon Chinn’s Red Box Films and Gotham-based producer Julie Goldman.

Passion and Red Box are both based in London. Goldman produces through her recently launched Motto Pictures banner.

First two titles under the strategic alliance are Greg Barker’s “Sergio,” which airs on HBO in early May, and James Marsh’s follow-up to his hit doc “Man on Wire,” produced by Chinn.

Details of Marsh’s new film are being kept under wraps until shortly before the Cannes Film Festival. Chinn is producing; Battsek and Ruhemann exec produce.

Julie Goldman also is exec producer of Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush’s “Hungry in America.” Goldman is exec producing with Ryan Harrington and “Top Chef” host Tom Colicchio. Theaterical rights are still available to the docu, which focuses on the 49 million people living in the U.S. who are undernourished and hungry. All rights are available.

“We want to make ourselves the obvious first stop for any documentary filmmaker,” Battsek said.

In business for a dozen years, Passion Pictures has produced or exec produced more than 25 feature docus. Passion’s most recent titles include Sundance fest favorites “The Tillman Story,” which the Weinstein Co. will distribute in the U.S., and Afghanistan war docu “Restrepo,” from Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington (Passion had production partners on both titles).

Goldman and Passion also worked together in producing Greg Barker’s “Sergio,” about U.N. high commissioner for human rights Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Previous feature docus Passion has produced or exec produced include “Once in a Lifetime,” “Black Sun” and “Live Forever.” Co-productions include “My Kid Could Paint That” and “In the Shadow of the Moon.”In addition to exec producing “Shadow of the Moon,” Goldman consulted on documentaries “The Cove” and “Valentino: The Last Emperor.”

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