Companies will work together to adapt docus into feature dramas

Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures is partnering with ro*co prods., the production arm of ro*co films intl. to adapt documentary films into feature dramas. First pic under the arrangement will be Yoav Potash’s award-winning doc “Crime After Crime,” which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

“Crime” follows two young attorneys as they fight an uphill battle to free Debbie Peagler from prison 20 years after she was sentenced to life behind bars for her role in the murder of the man who abused her.

Pic, which had its TV debut on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network last fall, earned 15 major awards including the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review.

“We are very excited about working with ro*co and Yoav to adapt ‘Crime After Crime’ into a dramatic feature film,” said 1492 Pictures prexy Michael Barnathan. “This extraordinary documentary has great potential as a narrative feature film. We have made films that began as ideas, books, plays, and screenplays. While this will be our first documentary-to-dramatic-feature adaptation project, we certainly hope it is not our last. ro*co has an uncanny ability to find and attract great documentary works and filmmakers.”

“At ro*co, we work with our filmmakers to maximize opportunities for their documentary films,” said Annie Roney, founder and managing director of ro*co films intl. “That’s why we have partnerships with broadcasters in the US and abroad, as well as an educational division to create a different kind of box office in classrooms and on college campuses across the country. Finding the right partner to adapt these documentary narratives to the big screen was our next quest. Working with 1492 Pictures, we know that these real life stories will become celebrated motion pictures.”

The deal was negotiated by Sue Turley for ro*co films international and Barnathan for 1492 Pictures.

ro*co films has four films at Sundance including “The Atomic States of America,” “The Invisible War,” “The Law in These Parts” and “We’re Not Broke.”

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