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Sundance: Documentary Gets a Multi-Million Dollar Boost From Submarine and Grosvenor Park

Sundance: Documentary Gets a Multi-Million Dollar Boost From Submarine and Grosvenor Park

READ MORE: Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Frank Zappa Sundance Doc ‘Eat That Question’

As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the high-profile documentary seller Submarine is launching a new investment venture that will see the New York-based company join forces with financiers Grosvenor Park Media for a multi-million dollar deal that will invest in nonfiction fare for theaters, television, SVOD platforms and web outlets. Grosvenor Park, which has been responsible more than $1 billion in financing for over 400 film and TV projects, will provide financing, while Submarine principals Dan Braun, Josh Braun and David Koh will manage creative development and production of the slate of films.

Submarine is one of the most successful documentary sellers in the business. They’re behind Oscar winners like “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Blackfish,” and they recently brought their biggest slate yet to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, with well-received titles including “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” Werner Herzog’s “Lo & Behold: Reveries of the Connected World,” “Nuts!,” “Kiki” and more. The company also struck two major deals at Sundance, with the acclaimed political doc “Weiner” selling to IFC Films and Showtime and the Frank Zappa documentary “Eat That Question” to Sony Pictures Classics. 

Grosvenor Park CEO Don Starr enlisted longtime associate Stanley Buchthal and his Dakota Group to close the deal, which is valued in the high seven-figure range. The privately-held finance company focuses on entertainment and media, and in the past they’ve backed indie films ranging from John Waters’ “Hairspray” to David O. Russell’s “Spanking the Monkey.” They most recently handled “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” and “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present.”

“We have seen the nonfiction form change and evolve, becoming one of the most unique forms of artistic expression, and we have seen Submarine’s movies change the world in a short amount of time,” said Starr to THR. 

“There has been an expansive global growth of nonfiction programming and television, including all the new platforms, creating a great, insatiable and worldwide demand for intelligent programming,” added Buchtal. “It is a perfect fit to combine the great content and creativity of Submarine with the financial acumen and impressive track record of Grosvenor Park.”

For more on this lucrative new venture, head to The Hollywood Reporter.

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