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U.S. Deals Roll In for Mark Cousins’ Epic Documentary ‘Women Make Film’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Women Make Film” has scored a clean sweep of deals for North America, with buyers taking theatrical, streaming and TV rights to Mark Cousins’ 14-hour opus about female filmmakers. Turner Classic Movies has snagged linear TV, the Criterion Collection has taken the first streaming window and Cohen Media has taken theatrical and ancillary rights to the Tilda Swinton exec-produced feature documentary.

Cousins wrote and directed “Women Make Film.” It spans 13 decades and five continents using almost a thousand film extracts to give a guided tour of the art and craft of movies as told by female filmmakers. The full story is told over 14 hours, but it is split into segments that can be watched as stand-alone pieces. The narrators include Adjoa Andoh, Kerry Fox, Jane Fonda, Thandie Newton, Tilda Swinton, Sharmila Tagore and Debra Winger.

“Women Make Film” is playing at Toronto in the TIFF Docs section. U.K.-based documentary specialist Dogwoof handles international sales and closed the latest agreements at TIFF.

The North America deals were brokered by Ana Vicente, head of sales for Dogwoof, with Charles Tabesh,  senior VP of programming and production for Turner Classic Movies, Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Channel, and Gary Rubin, exec VP at Cohen Media Group.

“Since moving pictures were invented, women from around the world have created some of the most innovative and ground-breaking films ever made,” said Tabesh. “Mark’s brilliant documentary series brings to light many of these masterpieces that need to be seen by anyone who wants to understand the art of filmmaking.”

“‘Women Make Film’ is an eye-opening journey,” said Becker. “Mark Cousins provides rare glimpses of extraordinary films from around the world by women filmmakers whose work has often been very hard to see. On the Criterion Channel, we’ll aim to play ‘Women Make Film’ alongside as many of the filmmakers’ actual works as possible. The point of this whole effort is to help these films get seen.”

Kanopy has acquired exclusive educational and public library rights for the U.S. and Canada. “It is a great complement to [Cousins’ earlier work] “The Story of Film” which has been embraced by our audience – both on campus and in public libraries – so we look forward to sharing these amazing female filmmaker stories in 2020.”

Dogwoof has also closed a raft of international deals for “Women Make Film,” which was produced by John Archer for Hopscotch Films. Buyers include Midas Films for Portugal, Alliance for India, SVT for Sweden, YLE for Finland, ERT for Greece, and ITI Neovision for Poland. Deals had already closed in with DDream in China and Avalon in Spain.

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