×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Participant, Pivot Nab Rights to Internet Activist Docu ‘Aaron Swartz’

Participant Media and FilmBuff have licensed North American rights to Brian Knappenberger’s  docu “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.”

The announcement came a month after the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The companies have tentatively set a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release for June followed by a broadcast television premiere on Participant’s Pivot network in the fourth quarter.

The film will be screening at the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival. It was directed, written and produced by Knappenberger (“We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists”); exec producers are Charles Annenberg Weingarten, Zach Braff and Mason Fink.

Diane Weyermann of Participant Media said, “‘The Internet’s Own Boy’ is a deeply moving story that explores the incredible power of one individual to inspire change and the complexity and importance of freedom of information – all of which are right at the core of what our company is about.”

Swartz was a brilliant software programmer and Internet activist who died in his Brooklyn apartment at the age of 26 in January 2013. New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled the death a suicide by hanging.

Swartz founded the group Demand Progress to oppose antipiracy legislation last year. He was indicted in 2011 on federal data-theft charges for breaking into the MIT computer system and allegedly downloading 4.8 million documents and was due to go to trial in April 2013.

The film explores the arrest, the prosecution’s tactics in bringing the case to trial through the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the possible future of information access on the Internet.

Geoff Berkshire gave the film a strong review for Variety, calling it “spellbinding.”

The deal was negotiated by FilmBuff’s Janet Brown and Steven Beckman, Participant’s Jeff Ivers, Pivot’s Jennie Morris and Cinetic Media’s John Sloss on behalf of the filmmakers.

More Film

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content