'Saving Face' among pickups
PARIS — After bringing a record 12 high-profile docus to Mipdoc and MipTV, California-based Roco Films Intl. has racked up a flurry of sales across its slate.“Saving Face,” the Oscar-winning documentary short helmed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, was acquired by broadcasters in Denmark (DR), the Netherlands (Ikon), Germany (WDR) and Switzerland (SRF). Denmark’s DR also picked up Kirby Dick’s “The Invisible War,” winner of this year’s Sundance audience nod, and Chris Paine’s “Revenge of the Electric Car,” which played at Tribeca, Toronto, Seattle and Deauville. Produced by Amy Ziering and Dick’s Chain Camera Pictures, “The Invisible War,” the filmmaker’s follow up to Tribeca-preeming “Outrage,” sheds light on rapes in the U.S. military. It will be released Stateside by Cinedigm. Gallic paybox Canal Plus previously acquired pay TV rights. “If there is a theme to our collection this year, it is stories of civil disobedience and activism,” said Cristine Dewey, Roco Films Intl. prexy. ” ‘We Are Legion,’ ‘The Law in These Parts,’ ‘We’re Not Broke,’ ‘The Atomic States of America,’ ‘How to Survive a Plague,’ ‘The Invisible War’ — all these films either tell the dramatic stories of activism — or they call us into action by the nature of their narrative. Dewey told Variety Roco Films Intl. was able to secure deals with pubcasters around the world because “public broadcasters still have the mandate to not only entertain but also educate their audiences; and our films do both.” At MipTV, Roco Films Intl. also inked a three-year output deal with Yes/DBS in Israel. “It’s important for us to have high profile documentaries for our channel, and Roco Films has a knack for finding them,” said Osnat Eden-Fraiman, acquisitions manager for Yes DBS. Other buzzed-about titles on Roco’s slate included Brian Knappenberger’s “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hactivists” and Rob Vanalkemade’s “Training for the Apocalypse.” “Apocalypse” chronicles the journey of truth seekers and fervent believers in the Mayan End Times Prophecy who are preparing for the end of the world. Meanwhile, “Hactivists,” which played at Slamdance and SXSW fests, spotlights Anonymous, the hacking group.