ThinkFilm Acquires New Eddie Izzard Doc
by Eugene Hernandez
Following the successful festival launch of its first non-fiction production "Murderball" at Sundance, and with two Oscar nominations and five Spirit Award nominations this weekend, ThinkFilm theatrical distribution chief Mark Urman has announced the acquisition of North American rights to the notable in-progress doc by comedy performer and personality Eddie Izzard. The as-yet-untitled film by and about Izzard is directed and produced by Sarah Townsend. Joni Sighvatsson ("K-19 Widowmaker") and Nick Hirschkorn ("Five Children And It") are the film's executive producers.
The project has been in production for nearly three years, since being announced at Cannes last year.
Described by the company as "the definitive portrait of this multi-faceted, multi-medium performer," the film includes, in the words of the company, "performance footage, interviews with friends, family, and fans, and extensive material documenting life, both onstage and off, of this distinctive talent." Born in Yemen and raised in Britain, Izzard is a self-described "action transvestite" who is best known for his one-man shows, including "Dress to Kill" from 1998 which was filmed for HBO. His recent shows include "Circle" and "Sexie."
"I have been a rabid Eddie Izzard fan since I first saw 'Dress To Kill', and I have been pursuing him aggressively since I first heard about this project," THINKFilm's Mark Urman said in a statement. "All of us at THINK look forward to seeing his unique comic universe brought to film, and we can't wait to share it with Eddie's legions of fans, both old and new."
Urman and Randy Manis, Think's SVP of Acquisitions and Business Affairs, negotiated the deal with Izzard and Sighvatsson. THINK said in the announcement that they hope to debut the movie this fall at the Toronto Film Festival, with Izzard performing a live show as part of the launch.
"Everyone said we should distribute through ThinkFilm," said Izzard in a statement, "And then I bumped into Mark Urman on the Croisette in Cannes, five minutes before the screening of our promo reel. He came, he saw, he did a deal. The rest is geography."
The next documentary release from ThinkFilm will be Jonathan Nossiter's look at the world of wine, "Mondovino," which debuted in competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
In other ThinkFilm news, the company also announced that it has launched ThinkFilm Kids, a new specialty division aimed at HomeVideo/DVD releases for the 0-9 demographic, as well as parents. Its first two projects are the series, "Brain Candy" and "My First Day."