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Ro*Co Productions and 1492 Pictures Team To Adapt Documentaries; First Will Be ‘Crime After Crime’

Ro*Co Productions and 1492 Pictures Team To Adapt Documentaries; First Will Be 'Crime After Crime'

In a press release sent out today, international distributor Ro*Co Productions and production company 1492 Pcitures have announced a partnership to adapt documentaries into dramatic features. The first project will be Yoav Potach’s “Crime After Crime,” a Sundance 2011 premiere.

A formal announcement will be made in Park City this evening.

Full press release below:

January 21, 2012 –  The production arm of ro*co films international, ro*co productions, announced today in Park City that they will be partnering with 1492 Pictures (producers of such films as THE HELP and HARRY POTTER) to adapt documentary films into motion picture dramas. The first film of the new partnership is slated to be the award winning, CRIME AFTER CRIME, a Yoav Potash documentary which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

CRIME AFTER CRIME is the compelling film that follows two attorneys, fresh out of law school, as they fight an uphill battle to free Debbie Peagler from prison 20 years after she was sentenced to life behind bars for her role in the murder of the man who abused her.  CRIME AFTER CRIME, which had its television debut on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network last fall, has earned 15 major awards, including the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review.

“We are very excited about working with ro*co and Yoav to adapt CRIME AFTER CRIME into a dramatic feature film,” said Michael Barnathan, president of 1492 Pictures.  “This extraordinary documentary has great potential as a narrative feature film. We have made films that began as ideas, books, plays, and screenplays.  While this will be our first documentary-to-dramatic-feature adaptation project, we certainly hope it is not our last.  ro*co has an uncanny ability to find and attract great documentary works and filmmakers.”     

“At ro*co, we work with our filmmakers to maximize opportunities for their documentary films,” said Annie Roney, founder and managing director of ro*co films international.   “That’s why we have partnerships with broadcasters in the US and abroad, as well as an educational division to create a different kind of box office in classrooms and on college campuses across the country.  Finding the right partner to adapt these documentary narratives to the big screen was our next quest.  Working with 1492 Pictures, we know that these real life stories will become celebrated motion pictures.”

The deal was negotiated by Sue Turley for ro*co films international and Michael Barnathan for 1492 Pictures.

The public formal announcement will be made on Saturday evening in Park City at the Sundance Film Festival at the ro*co films/International Documentary Association reception celebrating documentaries, including four films in the festival being distributed by ro*co films:  THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA, THE INVISIBLE WAR, THE LAW IN THESE PARTS, and WE’RE NOT BROKE.

1492 Pictures:

Is a production company founded by Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe in 1994.  1492 has produced “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Rent,” “Stepmom” and “Percy Jackson” which were also directed by Columbus.  1492 has also many produced movies by other directors – including “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”,  the “Night at the Museum” films and most recently “The Help”.  

ro*co films international:

Founded in 2000 by Annie Roney, ro*co films international handles the worldwide distribution of some of the most highly acclaimed and award-winning documentary films produced, including eight Oscar®-nominees.  In addition to foreign distribution, ro*co educational focuses on North American college campus screenings and sales.  Its third division, ro*co productions, partnered with the OWN Documentary Club to identify and assist in the acquisition of feature documentaries.

Yoav Potash:
Yoav Potash’s work as a writer and filmmaker addresses important social issues of our day.  A current Sundance Institute Fellow, he has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Grand Prize at the Heartland Film Festival and the San Francisco Film Society’s Golden Gate Award, two of the top cash prizes for documentaries in the US.  His award-winning films include “Crime After Crime” and “Food Stamped,” and the narrative short “Minute Matrimony.”  He received the top prize in creative writing at his alma mater, UC Berkeley.

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