Zeitgeist Films has just acquired Richard Press’ doc “Bill Cunningham, New York,” which was opening night film of this year’s New Directors/New Films. Produced by Philip Gefter, the film depicts Cunningham, the 80 year old New York Times photographer and unlikely man-about-town who is obsessively interested in only one thing – the pictures he takes that document the way people dress. Zeitgeist will open the film at New York’s Film Forum on March 16, 2011 with a national release to follow.
“Like most readers of the New York Times I knew Bill Cunningham’s column but I didn’t know the fascinating personal story behind his photos,” Zeitgeist’s Co-President Nancy Gerstman said in a statement. “Watching this film was one of the most purely enjoyable movie experiences I’ve had all year and I know audiences will find it to be the same.”
The film’s cast of characters ranges from the downtown New York eccentrics Bill has photographed over the years to the uptown fixtures of New York culture (Tom Wolfe, Anna Wintour, etc) and pillars of “New York Society” who have never before appeared in a movie but who agreed because of their regard for him (David Rockefeller, Brooke Astor, Annette De La Renta, among others). The range of people reveals something of the delirious and delicious romp through New York that composes Bill’s world.
The deal was negotiated by Zeitgeist’s Co-President Nancy Gerstman with Josh Braun, Co-President of Submarine Entertainment which is responsible for the film’s’s world sales.