×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto: Participant Preems ‘Fifth Estate,’ Sets Overseas Expansion

Post-WikiLeaks, producer plots projects on pedophile priests, Deepwater Horizon disaster

Participant Media continues to grow its profile with star-driven projects such as Toronto opening night WikiLeaks film “The Fifth Estate,” but the 9-year-old shingle has plenty of other weighty subjects in mind.

The Boston Globe investigation into pedophile priests and the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico are high priorities in feature development, as well as Ric Roman Waugh’s thriller “Currency.” Participant also expects to open offices in London, Doha and South America in the next 18 months.

“We feel as if there’s a good side to contagious diseases and retiring to India,” says CEO James Berk, referring to hits “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Contagion.” “They don’t look obvious at first glance. So we take a leap of faith on everything.”

With Benedict Cumberbatch portraying the polarizing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Participant hopes to continue to show that doing good can go along with seeing a return on investments. In addition to “Best Exotic” and “Contagion,” Participant saw solid returns from “The Help” and “Lincoln,” with the four grossing a combined $750 million worldwide.

“‘The Fifth Estate’ very much speaks to every aspect of our mission,” Berk says. “It’s timely and contemporary. This will put the conversation about WikiLeaks back into the zeitgeist.”

Participant produced “Estate” with DreamWorks and Disney is planning an Oct. 18 release.

Participant’s Toronto lineup also includes a pair of prominent docus — Errol Morris’ “The Unknown Known,” centering on Donald Rumsfeld, and Ron Howard’s “Made in America,” exploring the success of Jay Z.

Berk and founder-chairman Jeff Skoll will participate in the Industry Dialogues speaker series on Friday examining future of the film industry discussing their recently launched TV channel Pivot and digital site TakePart.com.

Berk says the launch of Pivot means Participant will be acquiring for both film and TV at the festival.

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content