AGC Studios, CNN Films, and the BBC Arts will co-finance the Laura Fairrie-directed, John Battsek and Lizzie Gillett of Passion Pictures-produced (Oscar®-winners One Day in September and Searching for Sugar Man, Oscar®-nominated Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, Restrepo) LADY BOSS: THE JACKIE COLLINS STORY, the companies jointly announced today.
AGC International, the international sales and distribution arm of fast-growing AGC Studios, will handle global distribution rights on behalf of Passion Pictures and will introduce the film to U.S. domestic and international buyers. This is expected to be in the fall. CNN Films (APOLLO 11, RBG, Three Identical Strangers) will retain broadcast television rights in North America. BBC Arts will retain broadcast television for BBC Two on terrestrial television, and catch up VOD rights in the U.K. on BBC iPlayer.
AGC Chairman and CEO Stuart Ford is executive producing LADY BOSS: THE JACKIE COLLINS STORY alongside CNN Worldwide Executive Vice president for Talent and Content Development Amy Entelis, Vice President for CNN Films Courtney Sexton, BBC Arts Commissioning Editor Mark Bell, and Rachel Traub.
This “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” documentary about best-selling author, rebel, actress, millionaire Hollywood chronicler, mother, sister, survivor, and unlikely feminist, Jackie Collins, is as revealing as it is perceptive. LADY BOSS: THE JACKIE COLLINS STORY tells the untold true story of one of the world’s best-selling novelists whose turbulent, complex, and inspiring life rivaled the spicy plots she dreamed up for her novels.
AGC and CNN Films recently announced their collaboration for the production of another distinctive documentary, the Dawn Porter-directed JOHN LEWIS (UNTITLED), about the legendary civil rights activist, Congressman John Lewis, and his social and legislative activism working alongside everyone from Dr. Martin Luther King to President Barack Obama. AGC Studios and CNN Films are co-financing and co-producing that film with Trilogy Films and Color Farm Media, with AGC International controlling the international rights.
The deal for LADY BOSS: THE JACKIE COLLINS STORY was negotiated by Executive Producer, Rachel Traub, and AGC’s Vice President of Legal & Business Affairs, Anant Tamirisa, on behalf of AGC; by John Battsek on behalf of Passion Pictures; Courtney Sexton, Vice President for CNN Films, and Stacey Wolf, Vice President for Business Affairs for CNN Worldwide, on behalf of CNN; and overseen by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for BBC Arts, on behalf of BBC Two.
LADY BOSS: THE JACKIE COLLINS STORY marks another high-profile theatrical documentary partnership for AGC’s fast evolving nonfiction slate after the company successfully sold Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9, following its rousing world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Ryan White’s moving and entertaining look at inimitable sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer, ASK DR. RUTH, after its inspiring, audience-pleasing world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The deal completes a busy period for AGC. In recent weeks the indie studio has wrapped production on sci-fi television series WAR OF THE WORLDS, starring Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern, on revenge thriller THE SECRETS WE KEEP, starring Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman, and on feature comedy BREAKING NEWS IN YUBA COUNTY, starring Oscar®-winner Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, and Wanda Sykes. They are currently in production on Neil Burger’s young adult sci-fi thriller VOYAGERS, starring Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, and Colin Farrell. In May, AGC International, the studio’s international sales and distribution arm, launched Roland Emmerich’s MOONFALL, the biggest sales title in Cannes.
AGC STUDIOS AGC Studios was founded and launched by Chairman and CEO Stuart Ford in February 2018 as a platform to develop, produce, finance and globally license a diverse portfolio of feature films, scripted, unscripted and factual television, digital and musical content from its dual headquarters in Los Angeles and London. The new studio’s Hollywood output has a wide-ranging multicultural focus, designed for exploitation across an array of global platforms including major studio partnerships, streaming platforms, traditional broadcast and cable television networks and independent distributors, both in the US and internationally.
AGC Studios is initially backed by three key strategic investors: Latin American private asset management firm MediaNet Partners; Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the Arabic-speaking world; and leading Silicon Valley entrepreneur and chairman of Fibonacci Films, Greg Clark. Chief Operating Officer Miguel Palos is also a stakeholder in and co-founder of the business with Ford.
AGC Studios has three principal operating subsidiaries covering production, distribution and finance. AGC Productions develops and produces a diverse multicultural slate of mainstream English language feature film and TV projects. Aside from traditional Hollywood output, dedicated sub-divisions within AGC Productions is focused on generating material for Latino and Urban audiences as well as music-driven IP. The television output will include scripted series, unscripted and reality projects, factual content and content specifically created for digital platforms. AGC International operates a substantial international film and television licensing and distribution platform, building on Ford and his management team’s lengthy track record at the forefront of licensing content to major studios, independent studios, broadcasters and streaming platforms globally. Finally, AGC Capital provides development, production and post-production financing to both AGC Productions’ output as well as to select third-party produced film and TV productions via a portfolio of equity, senior and mezzanine debt, soft money and bridge-capital financial products.
About CNN Films
CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects. For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter. Recent acclaimed CNN Films include the Academy Award®– and BAFTA-nominated RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; LOVE, GILDA, directed by Lisa D’Apolito; American Jail, directed by Roger Ross Williams; the BAFTA-nominated Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle; HALSTON, directed by Frédéric Tcheng and now in theaters; and APOLLO 11 and APOLLO 11: First Steps Edition, both directed by Todd Douglas Miller and currently in exhibition. Recently, CNN Films World Premiered Rob Epstein’s and Jeffrey Friedman’s LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
About Passion Pictures
Passion Pictures film division is a double Academy Award-winning independent production company, and one of the most successful and prolific producers of feature documentary films in the international marketplace. Starting with Academy Award-winning ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER in 1999, the company has since been responsible for a great many feature documentaries, including: Academy Award-nominated RESTREPO; Academy shortlisted THE TILLMAN STORY (Winner, 2012 Best Historical Doc Emmy); Primetime Emmy-winning MANHUNT; BAFTA Outstanding Debut Winner, THE IMPOSTER, and Academy Award and BAFTA-winning SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN. More recently, Passion produced the 2016 Peabody-winning, and 2016 BAFTA-nominated LISTEN TO ME MARLON (Shortlisted, 2016 Academy Award; Winner, 2015 IDA Creative Recognition for Best Writing; and 2016 Primetime Emmy-nominated for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking), and the 2016 Academy Award-nominated WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. At TIFF 2017, Passion premiered Greg Barker’s THE FINAL YEAR, following Barack Obama and his diplomacy team for the final year of his administration and Grammy-nominated ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS, a no-holds barred account of the music legend’s life and at Sundance in 2018, Passion premiered STUDIO 54 and WESTWOOD: PUNK, ICON, ACTIVIST, both of which have subsequently been theatrically released internationally. 2019 started with Passion premiering Avi Belkin’s MIKE WALLACE IS HERE at Sundance, and has since seen the completion of a number of Passion productions, including Alex Gibney’s CITIZEN K, which will receive its world premiere in Venice and BAFTA-winning Daniel Gordon’s THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, which played the opening night of the Melbourne Film Festival and will release on 100 screens in Australia on August 22. Passion are currently in production and post production on a variety of projects ranging from Charlie Chaplin and John Belushi to Boris Becker and Sir Alex Ferguson.
About BBC Arts
The BBC is the biggest creator of Arts content and is Britain’s creative partner – a stage for the nation to experience the very best arts – when they want, how they want.
- The nation’s stage: access to arts and culture programming for all through the licence fee – we create and showcase more arts and culture than any other broadcaster
- An Innovator: constantly finding new ways to bring the best quality culture to audiences – working with the Arts sector as partner and acting as a hot-house for new talent
- Britain’s creative partner – a bold force in the UK creative sector as creator and commissioner, also a platform for new talent
- An investor in quality – we only present the highest quality Arts and culture programming, crafted by skilled production teams and shared with all audiences
- Bringing the nation together – like no other we create and amplify moments in Arts and culture, cutting through with a broad audience
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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