The Lionsgate-backed cabler has boarded the project, distributed by All3Media International, as a U.S. co-production partner. Variety this week included the doc as part of its top 10 Buzz Titles at Mipcom.
Slated to debut on U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 following the conclusion of the trial, which is anticipated to end in early 2022, “Ghislaine Maxwell: Life on Trial” (2 x 60′) — from non-fiction specialists Roast Beef Productions — has also sold into Latin America via a pan-regional deal with HBO Latin America, and Australia through Network Ten. The doc was previously acquired by DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden) and VRT (Flemish Belgium).
Maxwell is intimately connected to the case of Jeffrey Epstein, her former boyfriend and close friend. She faces trial this year on charges of sex trafficking and the abuse of underage girls, which could see her jailed for decades. The alleged procuress for Epstein, the British socialite’s reputation is now under scrutiny. The film details her upbringing and how she went from life in an English stately home to a prison cell in New York.
“Life on Trial” includes interviews with a diverse range of people who will help illuminate Maxwell’s trajectory from a privileged childhood in Oxford, to the elite worlds of London and New York, to her descent into the Brooklyn State Penitentiary. The team will also follow the events of the trial in New York this fall with access to the legal process, journalists and contributors close to the case.
Sally Habbershaw, executive VP for Americas at All3Media International, said the doc “is one of our most in-demand documentaries right now.”
“Starz is the perfect home and partner for this premium special, ensuring that U.S. audiences can witness this gripping, evolving and in-depth insight into the woman at the centre of one of the world’s biggest scandals,” continued Habbershaw.
Rachel Job, senior VP for non-scripted, added: “The number of deals already signed in key territories is testament to the film’s impeccable quality and impressive credentials, and it’s a privilege to work with Roast Beef Productions in bringing it to a global audience. This is first in our strategy to build premium a factual co-production slate in the U.S.”
Directed by Erica Gornall (“Saudi Women’s Driving School”) and produced by Oscar-nominated Roast Beef, the doc is produced by Mike Lerner (“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer”) and Katherine Haywood (“Who Cares?”) and executive produced by Dorothy Byrne (“Leaving Neverland”).