Sundance: Amazon Buys Steve Gleason Documentary

Sundance U.S. Documentary Competition 2016
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Amazon Studios has bought U.S. rights to Clay Tweel’s Steve Gleason documentary “Gleason,” four days after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Gleason” centers on the former NFL player who revealed in 2011 that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disclosure came five years after Gleason had memorably blocked a punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina.

Amazon has bought theatrical, TVOD and SVOD rights, and is partnering with Open Road Films to co-release “Gleason” theatrically.

The films includes footage shot over four years of Gleason’s post-diagnosis activities, which include becoming a father, skydiving, speaking at the United Nations, attending the State of the Union Address, founding an ALS research project and the organization Team Gleason — which has a mission to improve the lives of those who have ALS, the symptoms of which include gradual paralysis.

WME Global is handling the deal for “Gleason.”

Tweel, who previously directed “Finders Keepers,” is the editor of “Gleason.” Producers are Seth Gordon, Kimi Culp, Scott Fujita, Tom Lavia, Kevin Lake, Mary Rohlich and Thomas McEachin. Mark Shapiro and Will Staeger are the executive producers.

IMG Films, a division of the sports agency, financed “Gleason” along with Team Gleason members and New Orleans Saints player Drew Brees. Microsoft and Go Pro also supported the film.

Amazon also paid $10 million for the domestic rights for “Manchester By The Sea” earlier in the festival in addition to acquiring “Love & Friendship,” “Complete Unknown,” “Author: The JT Leroy Story” and “Weiner-Dog.”

The news about “Gleason” was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.


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