It’s a meeting for the ages. In one corner, the architect of Perestroika. In the other, the director who nearly tamed Klaus Kinski.
“Meeting Gorbachev,” a nonfiction film documenting a series of interviews between filmmaker Werner Herzog and Mikhail Gorbachev, has been acquired by the Orchard. The indie distributor plans to release the film theatrically in 2019. “Meeting Gorbachev” premiered at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival and played at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is directed by Herzog and his longtime collaborator André Singer.
Herzog, famous for “Fitzcarraldo” and “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” interviewed Gorbachev on three separate occasions over six months. He captured the last leader of the Soviet Union’s thoughts on peace and history.
“’Meeting Gorbachev’ is an enthralling look back at a fascinating leader and diplomat, all the more impactful based on what the world looks like today,” said Paul Davidson, the Orchard’s EVP of film and television. “Werner and Andre’s own sensibilities make the film engaging and personal in a way no other filmmakers could.”
The film is produced by Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film, as well as by Lucki Stipetic and Svetlana Palmer. The executive producers are Richard Melman for Spring Films, and Molly Thompson and Eli Lehrer for History Films. History retains all television rights for the documentary.
“We are very pleased to partner with Paul and the team at The Orchard on the release of ‘Meeting Gorbachev,’” said Thompson. “Werner and André have brought us a rare and historic interview with Mikhail Gorbachev which is particularly relevant given the current state of world affairs.”
It’s the third collaboration between the Orchard and A+E Networks, parent company of A&E IndieFilms and History Films. They previously partnered on the Oscar-nominated documentaries “Cartel Land” and “Life, Animated.” Singer and Herzog previously partnered on the nonfiction films “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” and “Into the Abyss.” The Orchard’s recent releases include “We the Animals,” “American Animals,” and “El Angel.”
The deal was negotiated by the Orchard’s VP of acquisitions Danielle DiGiacomo and Josh Braun and Matt Burke of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.