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Participant Media Acquires North American Rights To Ewell & Aites' Sundance Documentary '99% -- The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film'


Participant Media has acquired North American rights to Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites’ documentary 99%--The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film, directed by Ewell & Aites, along with Lucian Read and Nina Krstic, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Following its theatrical run, the film will have its world television premiere on Participant’s new TV channel targeting millennials, scheduled to launch in August.

Participant CEO Jim Berk said, “99% provides a fascinating and involving account of the genesis of one of the most dynamic social movements in recent years, leaving the viewer inspired and full of hope. With our new TV channel we can insure that this film will shine a light on important issue for a national audience.”

As it does with all its films, Participant will mount a Social Action & Advocacy campaign designed to continue the conversation from the film into the community so that people are empowered to become involved.

Says Ewell, “We are so excited be working with Participant on this film. We really can't think of a better partner to bring "99%" to the world.”

In 2011, seemingly overnight, Occupy captured the imagination of our nation – and the world. The sweeping story of the birth of a movement, 99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film follows a disparate group of activists who converged on lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to build a new society. Inspired by the idea that wealth and power were disproportionately wielded by an elite few, parks from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis to Jackson Mississippi were soon Occupied. But what did they want? And would their own processes hinder them in achieving it?

As mainstream news failed to find answers, police forces around the country perpetrated indelible acts of violence against American citizens. Arrested by the thousands and forcibly evicted from their encampments, the Occupation finds itself at a crossroad: what’s next? In an era of hopelessness and resignation, 99% offers a striking portrait of those who refused to accept the status quo, while analysis from activists, experts, and detractors finally brings the story into focus.

Co-directed by Katie Teague, Peter Leeman, Aric Gutnick, Abby Martin, Doree Simon, the film was produced by Ewell, Aites and Williams Cole. Executive producers are Brian Devine, Brooke Devine and Tyler Brodie.

The deal was negotiated by Ben Weiss of Paradigm and Jeff Ivers of Participant.

Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online division and Social Action Network is TakePart. Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Middle of Nowhere, Lincoln, Promised Land, and No.

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 100 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 73 Academy Award® nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Green Book and Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.

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Participant Media became a Certified B Corporation in 2018. B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.