Gravitas Ventures has picked up U.S. rights for the documentary “Inside Lehman Brothers,” which chronicles the story of the whistleblowers who paid the price for exposing the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, Variety has learned exclusively.
Gravitas announced the deal, which includes digital and TV rights, on Monday at the Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Documentary Film Festival. The BBC’s documentary strand Storyville also acquired the film recently.
“Inside Lehman Brothers” is director Jennifer Deschamps’ account of the mostly female whistleblowers who recognized the early warnings signs of a subprime mortgage crisis that would go on to rattle the global economy. When they tried to raise the alarm about corrupt lending practices at financial institutions like Lehman Brothers, they were subjected to harassment and threats instead.
Though many of the institutions at the center of the scandal have since gone back to business as usual, “Inside Lehman Brothers” is a cautionary tale of how easily bad habits can come back—and how far-reaching the damage can be. The film had its world premiere at DOC NYC and also screened at the Santa Barbara and Cleveland film festivals. A limited theatrical release in the U.S. is slated for the fall.
“The Lehman Brothers collapse reverberated throughout the world, impacting countless communities. With a deft hand, ‘Inside Lehman Brothers’director Jennifer Deschamps chronicles the lives of those who were there when the puzzle pieces of truth were uncovered,” said Gravitas’ acquisitions manager Nick Royak. “This doc rings the warning bell again for our public to remain vigilant and informed. The Gravitas team is very proud to be a part of this movie’s U.S. release.”
“Inside Lehman Brothers” is produced by Ina Fichman of Intuitive Pictures (Canada) and Frederick Lacroix of KM (France), in association with ARTE, the documentary Channel, and Société Radio Canada.