Film and television distributor FilmRise announced today it has acquired the worldwide distribution rights for the SXSW documentary premiere "Silicon Cowboys." Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jason Cohen and produced by Ross Dinerstein and Glen Zipper, the film "chronicles the David vs. Goliath story of Compaq Computer and offers a fresh look into the explosive rise of the 1980’s PC industry, delivering a surprising alternative to the familiar narrative of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg."
According to its official synopsis, "Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world’s most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader’s code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. 'Silicon Cowboys' traces the rise, and eventual demise, of the unlikely upstart – that would alter the future of computing and shape the world as we know it today."
Of the news, Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, commented, "We are thrilled to announce our acquirement of 'Silicon Cowboys,' a documentary that sheds light on the often forgotten pioneers of the 1980’s PC industry. We look forward to expanding this story’s audience, drawing attention to the exceptional work of these prolific individuals."
Cohen added, "The story of Compaq Computer is a part of history that affects us all today, but most of us just don't know it. In fact, if it weren't for Compaq, you probably wouldn't be reading this quote on your iPhone/iPad right now. The risks taken and the critical decisions made by these outsiders shook the technology industry to its foundations. We are very excited to partner with FilmRise and their history of distributing insightful films to share this unique story with the world."
The deal was negotiated by Fisher and Max Einhorn, VP of Acquisitions at FilmRise, along with Adam Galen and Zac Bright of Preferred Content on behalf of the filmmakers. Content Media will handle international sales for the film.
FilmRise is planning a fall theatrical release for the film.