Fresh off its Tribeca Film Fest premiere, the Kevin Spacey-produced docu “Uncle Frank” has been acquired by HBO for broadcast in 2003.
Fest has been drawing critical accolades, based on the turnout of big films, stars and crowds that helped fill downtown restaurants and stores hurting for customers since Sept. 11. But if another measure of a festival’s value is a film’s ability to showcase for a distrib deal, Spacey, whose Trigger Street shingle produced the docu, was pleased to have a hand in its first pact.
Trigger Street’s Gotham office is in Tribeca, and Spacey was very visible at the fest. Docu unspooled last Saturday, and Sheila Nevins, HBO’s exec veep of Original Programming, saw it and quickly acquired it.
“Trigger Street Prods. is delighted that our first feature documentary has been shown such faith and enthusiasm by HBO, and we look forward to a continuing relationship with them,” said Spacey. “We were also very excited to be the first film acquired at the Tribeca Film Festival.”
Docu was directed by Matthew Ginsburg, who trailed his 85-year-old great uncle Frank Pour on his musical journey through his golden years. Frank lives in the once booming mill town of Rome, N.Y., with his wife of 39 years. A machinist who was forced into retirement, Frank taught himself to play keyboards and volunteered his vocal talents to a nearby nursing home. Soon, he was touring all of them in the area, becoming a local hero in the process.
WMA and Doug Stone brokered the docu deal.