Sundance: Sony Classics Buys Documentary ‘Eagle Huntress’

Eagle Huntress
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Sony Classics has acquired rights to the documentary “The Eagle Huntress” for North America, Latin America, Germany, Australia/New Zealand, Scandinavia and Asia.

“The Eagle Huntress” is directed by Otto Bell and executive produced by Morgan Spurlock and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” actress Daisy Ridley. The film centers on Aisholpan, a 13-year old Mongolian girl striving to become the first female Eagle Hunter in the sport’s 2,000-year history.

The film follows Aisholpan as she learns all aspects of the ancient tradition, including taming her own eaglet and training for the annual Golden Eagle Festival, which involves competing against 70 male Eagle Hunters. The movie is set in the remote Altai Mountains of Northwestern Mongolia.

“The Eagle Huntress” held its world premiere last week at the Sundance Film Festival in the Sundance Kids section. Aisholpan, together with her father and mother, journeyed from Mongolia to Park City, Utah to present the film and participate in discussions.

Producers are Stacey Reiss and Sharon Chang. Ridley, Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, Marc H. Simon, Dan Cogan, Regina K. Scully, Barbara Dobkin and Susan Maclaury are executive producers, in association with Artemis Rising Foundation, Impact Partners, Shine Global and Warrior Poets.

The film’s theme song is written and sung by Sia.

The deal was brokered by CAA with legal services provided by Marc H. Simon of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP on behalf of the filmmakers.

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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  1. Michelle says:

    Otto Bell took advantage of poor mongolian kazakh family by having them sign the contract to make this movie to to pay only 1$! They are poor family didn’t understand any english. Shame on you! The news upset many mongolian people. Child labor without pay or very little pay

  2. Meghan Fitz-James says:

    I wonder if Sony is aware that the filmmaker first present the family with a 1USD lifetime exclusive rights noncompetitive contract signed without informed consent by the father and that it was NOT a peppercorn or placeholder contract like the filmmaker was trying to pass it off as? This contract was outed by Tseren Enebish on Talk to Me TV Mongolia (see YouTube ) a year ago. Yes, Otto Bell told me it has been redone and that the family is fully on board with a further three conntracts, but what was his thinking behind using that initial 1USD contract? Further, the filmmaker and Asher Svidensky did not do their research to learn that Aisholpan is not the first and that female eagle huntresses have existed in history. See 2012 Reuters story on Makpal . And that she lives in Kazakhstn makes no difference because the hunting grounds traditionally spanned Kazakhstan and Mongolia and it about shared CULTURE not lines on a map. To say nothing of how the producer has spoken about the elders as backwards old men. There are other girls who go eagle hunting with their fathers in her area. The culture is egalitarian! But you would not think so the way Spurlock speaks of it. What a MESS. And I am learning even more!!

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