HBO has partnered with Roadside Attractions for U.S. theatrical and DVD rights to Oscar winner James Marsh’s “Project NIM,” Sheila Nevins, president, HBO Documentary Films and Howard Cohen, co-president, Roadside Attractions said Thursday.
Prior to the festival, HBO acquired all U.S. rights to the film, which debuted opening night last week. The deal was negotiated by HBO, Submarine’s Josh Braun and Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen.
“The film emerged from a well researched biography of a chimpanzee called Nim whose life in captivity was very well documented and often filmed,” Marsh told indieWIRE in a recent profile. “Nim was taken from his mother when he was born and given over to a human mother to raise. This was in the early ‘70’s and it was part of an experiment conducted by a Professor at Columbia University. The idea was to bring up the baby chimp in a human family and nurture him exactly like a human child in the expectation that he would learn language and grammar in the way that human children do. If so, he could tell us what he was thinking and how he saw the world. It’s a mind boggling idea when you stop think about it.”