SXSW: Compaq Documentary ‘Silicon Cowboys’ Bought by FilmRise

FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release.

The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner with the aim of building a portable PC to rival IBM, then the world’s most powerful tech company.

Compaq was the first company to legally reverse engineer the IBM Personal Computer and became the largest supplier of PC systems during the 1990s. It was purchased by Hewlett Packard in 2002 for $25 billion. HP discontinued used of the Compaq name several years ago.

Silicon Cowboys” traces the rise, and eventual demise, of the unlikely startup. The film had its world premiere at SXSW.

“The story of Compaq Computer is a part of history that affects us all today, but most of us just don’t know it,” said Cohen. “In fact, if it weren’t for Compaq, you probably wouldn’t be reading this quote on your iPhone/iPad right now. The risks taken and the critical decisions made by these outsiders shook the technology industry to its foundations.”

The film is written by Cohen and Steven Leckart, co-produced by Lydia Dunham and Leckart, and exec produced by Samantha Housman and Cohen.

The deal was negotiated by Danny Fisher and Max Einhorn at FilmRise, along with Adam Galen and Zac Bright of Preferred Content on behalf of the filmmakers. Content Media will handle international sales for the film.

More Film

  • Warclow Bridge of Spies

    Amblin Partners Inks Exclusive Music-Publishing Deal With BMG

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

  • Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan and

    Gus Van Sant's 'Don't Worry' Among First Berlinale Competition Titles to Be Unveiled

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

  • Japan Box Office: ‘The Last Jedi’

    Japan Box Office: ‘The Last Jedi’ Opens Big Ahead of ‘Yokai Watch’

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    South Australia Uncaps Post-Production Rebate Scheme

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

  • Korea's Gang Dong-won to Star in

    Korea's Gang Dong-won to Star in Simon West’s ‘Tsunami LA’

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

  • Korea Box Office: 'Steel Rain' Defeats

    Korea Box Office: 'Steel Rain' Defeats 'Star Wars' to Dominate Weekend

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

  • netflix-the-little-prince

    Mediawan Closes In on Acquisition of Dimitri Rassam's ON Kids & Family

    FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary “Silicon Cowboys” and plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, directed by Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, chronicles the story of Compaq Computer’s founding and the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry. Compaq was launched in 1982 by […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content