Gravitas Ventures Secures North American Rights to ELIÁN
Documentary to World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival Elián Gonzalez’s first-person story co-produced by Fine Point Films and Jigsaw Productions, and previously acquired by CNN Films, to be released in theaters May 19
Gravitas Ventures has acquired US theatrical, digital, and video rights to ELIÁN, the remarkable story about Elián González, a five-year-old Cuban boy plucked from the Florida Straits on Thanksgiving Day in 1999, and how the fight over his future sparked a flashpoint for simmering post-Cold War US and Cuban tensions. Narrated by Tony Award®-nominee Raúl Esparza, ELIÁN is executive-produced by Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney and his company Jigsaw Productions. Ross McDonnell and Tim Golden are co-directors; McDonnell is also cinematographer. Golden is the writer for the film. ELIÁN is conceived and produced by award-winning filmmaker Trevor Birney of Fine Point Films Ltd.
Featuring powerful personal testimony, candid interviews, and extraordinary archival news footage, the feature presents a gripping account of Elián’s remarkable survival after his mother and others perished at sea, the custody battle between the boy’s Cuban father and Miami-based relatives and the momentous political fight surrounding it all.
With unprecedented access, Golden and McDonnell update this iconic story with the voice of the adult Elián González, now an articulate 23-year-old young man and perhaps, the hopeful new symbol of an emerging, post-Castro era, Cuba.
ELIÁN is slated for a platform theatrical release beginning in New York and Los Angeles on May 19, 2017. The film will also be premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival on April 21.
Amy Entelis of CNN Films is an executive producer and Courtney Sexton is supervising producer for ELIÁN. In addition to being a co-production partner for ELIÁN, CNN Films will be the worldwide broadcast and mobile premiere presenter, is the exclusive presenter for US television, and also holds rights to broadcast the film in Canada. Amazon Prime Video will be the exclusive streaming video home of the film in the US.
“I was gripped by Elián’s story from the moment his rescue made news around the world. Somehow the plight of this this five-year-old boy encapsulated the long story of Cuban-American relations,” comments Producer Trevor Birney. “Fine Point Films started developing the film four years ago. When Alex Gibney and Jigsaw came on board we brought together the incredibly talented team of Tim Golden and Ross McDonnell to direct. We are delighted that Gravitas are so enthusiastic about bringing the story to theater audiences in North America. We’re also excited that CNN boarded the film early in development and will premiere ELIÁN later this year for television as a CNN Film. And, we are pleased that Content Media Corporation will distribute our film to international theaters.”
“Many of us remember how our country was captivated by the story of Elián Gonzalez,” stated Gravitas Founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher. “We know audiences will find it extraordinarily timely to today’s political climate.”
The deal was negotiated by Nolan Gallagher for Gravitas Ventures, and by Jonathan Ford with Content Media Corporation on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT GRAVITAS VENTURES
Gravitas Ventures is a leading all rights distributor of independent cinema. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with more than 500 content partners, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over 100 million homes. Recent releases include Katie Holmes’ feature directorial debut, “All We Had,” Jonathan Hock’s “Fastball,” Colin Hanks’ “All Things Must Pass,” “Being Evel” from Academy Award® winning director Daniel Junge and producer Johnny Knoxville, “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of,” and “For The Love of Spock” from Director Adam Nimoy.
For more information, please visit gravitasventures.com and sign up for their e-newsletter, follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.
ABOUT CNN FILMS
CNN Films, celebrating its fifth year in 2017, produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects. For more information about CNN Films, please visit www.CNN.com/CNNFilms and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter.