Discovery visits Herzog’s ‘World’

Sales arm nabs rights to documentary

Discovery Enterprises Intl., the newly created international sales arm of Discovery Communications, has taken international distribution rights on Werner Herzog’s  feature docu, “Encounters at the End of the World.”

Deal completes distrib arrangements for “Encounters,” a portrait of the daily lives under extreme conditions of people in Antarctica.

ThinkFilm and Image Entertainment signed on earlier this month to handle North American theatrical distribution, with Image handling DVD and digital. U.S. release is skedded for June 11.

Like Herzog’s “Grizzly Man,” “Encounters” is produced by Discovery Films. But this is the first time Discovery has taken on international on a feature, DEI’s just-appointed senior VP Caleb Weinstein said at Cannes.

Move forms part of a larger thrust by Discovery to maximize third-party business — usually via terrestrial broadcaster syndication and DVD retail — outside of airing Discovery specs and series on its own branded pay TV channels abroad.

“Encounters also underscores Discovery’s embrace of stories about people performing under extraordinary circumstances, Weinstein added, citing docuseries “Deadliest Catch,” about Bering Sea crab fisherman, whose second season is a top draw on Discovery’s Mip TV sales slate.

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