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Film News Roundup: ‘Whitney’ Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald Partnering With Docsville

In today’s film news roundup, “Whitney” filmmaker Kevin Macdonald is partnering with Docsville, “Marfa Girl 2” is getting distribution, and a Dave Gurney mystery series is heading into development.

PARTNERSHIPS

Documentary streaming service Docsville has signed a partnership with “Whitney” filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, Variety has learned exclusively.

Macdonald’s credits include “Touching the Void,” “One Day in September,” “The Last King of Scotland,” the thriller “State of Play,” “How I Live Now,” and the upcoming Whitney Houston documentary “Whitney,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

He won an Academy Award for best documentary in 2000 for “One Day in September,” working with Docsville co-founder Nick Fraser on the film.

“It’s been a joy to work with Kevin over many years, from our collaboration on ‘One Day in September’ up until our most recent efforts with Docsville,” Fraser said. “Having such a talented director on board will surely define Docsville as the home of the world’s best in factual film.”

Lawrence Elman, co-founder and CEO of Docsville, said of MacDonald, “He is one of the sharpest minds in factual film and is a perfect representation of the kind of individual that Docsville is seeking to partner with in our
commitment to deliver world-class documentary film.”

Docsville announced its launch last month on Amazon Channel in the U.K. as an add-on subscription for Prime members. Docsville is available in 156 countries and as an app for both iOS and Android devices. It’s supported technically and financed by the Swedish tech giant Magine, and is financing and co-financing new documentaries, acquiring new films, and creating one of the most comprehensive back catalogs of documentaries.

Macdonald said of the new collaboration, “Docsville is very exciting, as it is filling the space for international documentaries, and I am looking forward to working with Nick and Lawrence very much.”

ACQUISITIONS

Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American rights to Larry Clark’s drama “Marfa Girl 2,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Breaking Glass is planning a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles, New York, and additional markets, followed by a DVD/VOD release in the fourth quarter.

The original “Marfa Girl” was released in 2012 and shot in in Marfa, Texas — the location of the 1956 James Dean film “Giant.” “Marfa Girl 2” follows a family living in Marfa, attempting to pull themselves back together after a horrific tragedy amid a bleak landscape of sex, drugs, and boredom in a dead-end Texas border town.

“After making ‘Marfa Girl,’ my fans inundated me with requests for a follow up — so I made it,” Clark said. “I hope they enjoy it.”

“No director incorporates sex, drugs, and skateboarding into a film like Larry Clark,” said Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff. “His fans will not be disappointed with ‘Marfa Girl 2.'”

Clark’s credits include “Kids,” “Bully,” “Ken Park,” “Wassup Rockers,” “Another Day in Paradise,” and “The Smell of Us.” “Marfa Girl 2” marks his first sequel.

RIGHTS DEAL

Innis Lake Entertainment has optioned the film and television rights to the Dave Gurney mystery thriller book series, written by John Verdon.

The events of the first book, “Think of a Number,” follow a mysterious serial killing spree in upstate New York, and the detective, Gurney, who comes out of retirement in an attempt to solve the case. The first book’s critical and commercial success inspired five subsequent installments.

Innis Lake’s creative team has started to develop a script for a film adaptation, which will follow the events of the first book, with a script set to be written by Richard Wernham. The movie will be directed by Nick Wernham, who is currently completing post-production on “Business Ethics.”

The team is also developing a TV pitch for broadcasters and SVOD providers in North America and Europe. The deal was negotiated by CAA and Friedrich Agency on behalf of the author, and by West On Wilshire and Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond on behalf of the filmmakers. The news was first reported by Deadline.

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