iTunes to roll out docu in 20 territories

PARIS

San Francisco-based documentary sales and production shingle Ro*Co Films is set to theatrically release its first title, Brian Knappenberger’s doc on civil disobedience “We Are Legion: the Story of the Hacktivists,” in seven cities across Canada.

iTunes will simultaneously roll out the doc in 20 territories.

The release is skedded for Guy Fawkes’ Day on Nov. 5. Fawkes, who attempted to blow up England’s Parliament in 1605, became a symbol of the hacktivist group Anonymous after its members started using a Guy Fawkes mask during protests again Scientology in 2008.

“We Are Legion,” which traces the evolution of early hacktivist groups, like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater, into Anonymous, preemed at SXSW and opened in the U.S. on Oct. 22.

British philanthropic group Bertha Foundation has recently come on board to finance the encoding of Ro*Co’s catalog, comprising more than 100 docs, and made them available on iTunes in 20 countries, including the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

“Born Into Brothels,” depicting Calcutta’s red light district, is the first Ro*Co title to be available on iTunes.

“We Are Legion” and Kirby Dick’s Sundance audience winner “The Invisible War,” which sheds light on rape in the U.S. army, will hit iTunes next.

“Access to the iTunes platform along with Bertha’s support marks a milestone for Ro*Co in its mission to broaden audiences for important documentaries,” said Annie Roney, the shingle’s founder and managing topper. “We’re now able to bypass traditional gatekeepers, make our content available in over 20 countries and position Ro*Co as a consumer brand in the global retail market.”

Roney added that Ro*Co could withhold titles from iTunes if a local distributor wanted to purchase all rights for a theatrical release.

“We Are Legion” was just picked up by pay TV distributor DTS in Spain and satcaster YES/DBS in Israel.

“The Invisible War” was acquired by HBO Latin America, Rialto Channel in New Zealand, Kultura Channel in Russia, RTS in Switzerland, SBS in Australia and YES/DBS in Israel. Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s “Miss Representation,” a look at the depiction of women in the media, was picked up by Brazil’s GloboSat and Spain’s RTVE.

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