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Imagine’s Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series.

The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president.

The deal suggests that Apple sees docu films and series as an important element of the video platform the tech giant has been working on for more than 18 months. In September, Apple acquired global rights to the feature doc “The Elephant Queen,” which will screen later this month at the Sundance Film Festival.

Imagine’s push into documentaries began a few years ago with such projects as “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — the Touring Years,” directed by Howard, and “Jay-Z’s Made in America,” “Katy Perry: Part of Me,” and “Inside Deep Throat.”

Under Wilkes’ direction, Imagine at present is working on the docu-series “She the People,” featuring actress-playwright Sarah Jones traveling the country to examine issues of sex and power for women. Actor Bryce Dallas Howard is at work on “Dads,” a feature doc that aims to take a humorous look at fatherhood in the modern era.

Imagine bolstered its documentary production infrastructure with the recent hiring of HBO alum Sara Bernstein as executive VP.

Apple has yet to disclose launch or distribution plans for its video content. The company has a slew of original series in various stages of production and development.

(Pictured: Imagine’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — the Touring Years”)

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