Dogwoof has acquired international sales rights to Tim Travers Hawkins’ “XY Chelsea,” an intimate portrait of Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who was recently incarcerated after refusing to testify in the WikiLeaks case.
Manning was was sentenced to 35 years at a maximum-security prison for leaking classified military information to WikiLeaks in 2013. Four years later, then-President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence as one of the final acts of his presidency.
The documentary, which will have its world premiere at Tribeca, follows Manning as she prepares her transition to living life for the first time as a free woman. Hawkins was granted exclusive and intimate access to Manning after her release from military prison.
Produced by Pulse Films, “XY Chelsea” will air on Showtime in North America in June, following its release in the U.K. on May 24.
“‘XY Chelsea’ is a challenging documentary that speaks to many troubling phenomena of our times, yet is also raw, intimate and human-scale,” said Hawkins, who wrote the documentary with Mark Monroe, Enat Sidi and Andrea Scott.
The director said he started making the film based on written diaries that Manning mailed to him, as well as “recorded calls over the heavily monitored prison line.”
“As we announce the release of the film, she is locked up once again, proving both the urgency of her story and her strength and uncompromising rebelliousness,” added Hawkins.
‘XY Chelsea’ was co-financed by the BFI, with the backing of National Lottery funding, Field of Vision and Topic Studio. It was produced by Julia Nottingham, Isabel Davis, Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa, and executive produced by Laura Poitras, Charlotte Cook, Vinnie Malhotra, Mary Burke, Michael Bloom, Lisa Leingang, Sharon Chang, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Blaine Vess, Marisa Clifford and Ryan Harrington
Anna Godas, CEO of Dogwoof, described “XY Chelsea” as “a current, intimate and highly cinematic portrait of a key figure of the 21st century.”