Altitude Boards Toronto-Bound Truman Capote Documentary ‘The Capote Tapes’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Altitude has boarded “The Capote Tapes,” the feature documentary that has never-heard-before interviews with Truman Capote and that will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Altitude will handle international sales on the film, which is directed by Ebs Burnough, a former White House adviser to Michelle Obama. It will co-rep the U.S. with Endeavor Content.

“The Capote Tapes” filmmakers had unprecedented access to taped interviews with Capote made as part of an oral biography of the writer by George Plimpton, co-founder of The Paris Review. Using the tapes, animation, and new on-camera interviews with people who knew him, the film explores the impact of Capote’s explosive unfinished novel “Answered Prayers.”

The first chapter of the novel was released in 1975, revealing the intimate secrets, from adultery to murder, of Manhattan’s high society. There are various theories as to what happened to the full work: did Capote destroy it, or did he never complete it, or hide it away, waiting for it to be found after his death?

Burnough said he knew Capote as the author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood” but did not know anything about the man himself before embarking on the film project.

“This documentary has allowed me to explore Truman, the orphaned, little gay boy from Alabama, who became a star on the world stage,” he said. “I am thrilled to be partnering with Altitude on this project, as our hope is that we can shed light on an often misunderstood genius, who still remains as relevant today as he did 50 years ago.”

The film is a Hatch House Media production in association with Mville Films. BAFTA winner Nick Fraser, formerly commissioning editor at the influential BBC docs strand Storyville, is among the exec producers.

Burnough produces with Lawrence Elman. Pierre Lagrange, Lex Lutzus, and Fraser executive produce. “Ebs’ take on the Capote story is revelatory and shines a new light on a universal story adding relevance for today and for tomorrow,” Elman said. “Ebs is an instinctual storyteller with a natural and easy going narrative expertise. This story could not have been told by anyone else.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content