CANNES — Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur’s K5 International is taking the leap with “Being Evel,” the Sundance and SXSW hit documentary with a host of famous talking heads, including Johnny Knoxville, Tony Hawk and George Hamilton. The pic has received critical praise for its warts-and-all insights into one of America’s truly flawed heroes.
“Being Evel” tells the story behind the myth of 1970s American daredevil icon and pioneer for today’s extreme sports scene, Robert “Evel” Knievel. It also recounts the previously untold and much darker tale of the man behind the flamboyant cape: a one-time outlaw whose dangerous career spanned 75 ramp-to-ramp motorbike jumps and saw him break almost every bone in his body.
“Evel Knievel is emblazoned on the brains of every middle-aged man who ever owned a bicycle, some bricks and a wooden ramp,” Simon said. “But he was also the blueprint for an entirely new generation of extreme sports fanatics who have helped it grow into a multibillion-dollar global business.”
Written and directed by Daniel Junge (“Saving Face,” “They Killed Sister Dorothy”), “Being Evel” is produced by History Films along with Knoxville (“Bad Grandpa”), Jeff Tremaine and Mat Hoffman from Dickhouse Productions, and Brendan Kiernan and Justin Moore-Lewy at HeLo. It is exec produced by Molly Thompson, Susan Werbe, Dirk Hoogstra, Robert Lewis and Hamilton.
“I don’t know if there’s a single dirt-bike rider, BMXer or any other extreme sports practitioner who doesn’t have Knievel as their benchmark,” added K5 partner and head of sales Carl Clifton, who will be sitting down with buyers on the Croisette. “What’s so great about this documentary is that you get to see all the crazy stunts he performed, but also a look behind the myth and at the dark side of the man in those amazing star-spangled jumpsuits.”
K5 is no stranger to buzz documentary titles. Its “Cutie and the Boxer” was nominated for an Oscar in 2014, and the company’s against-all-odds soccer documentary “Next Goal Wins” won best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards.