Magnolia Pictures Slates Spring Release for New Enron Doc
by Brian Brooks
Alex Gibney's scandal doc "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" will receive its theatrical distribution through Magnolia Pictures, the New York-based company's president Eamonn Bowles announced Friday. The film, which will have its world premiere later this month in the documentary competition section at Sundance, was financed and produced by HDNet Films, and is the group's first film to be completed. Gibney and Jason Kliot of HDNet Films produced the film. Magnolia has slated the film's release for late spring.
"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" is an inside account of the recent business scandal involving the now defunct Houston-based energy giant, in which top executives of what was America's seventh largest company walked away with over $1 billion, while investors and employees lost everything. Fortune Magazine reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, who broke the Enron story and co-authored the best-selling book "The Smartest Guys in the Room," are also featured in the film which utilizes "incendiary" corporate audio and videotapes in telling the story. The film also contains the taped voices of Enron traders wiring huge profits out of California as they took advantage of the California energy crisis.
"HDNet Films has been extraordinarily supportive throughout the making of this film, which was very difficult at times," commented Gibney in a statement. "I'm thrilled to be going to Sundance with such a skilled and experienced distributor as Magnolia."
HDNet Films and Magnolia Pictures are both divisions of Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban's 2929 Entertainment. Recent Magnolia releases include "Capturing the Friedmans," "Control Room," and "Woman, Thou Art Loosed." The company will soon release "Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior" by Prachya Pinkaew."