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Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Worldwide Rights to 'Merchants of Doubt'


SONY PICTURES CLASSICS ACQUIRES WORLDWIDE RIGHTS TO MERCHANTS OF DOUBT

 

NEW YORK (August 7, 2014) - Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired worldwide rights from Participant Media and Omidyar Network to the documentary MERCHANTS OF DOUBT, a film by Academy Award® nominated producer-director Robert Kenner (FOOD, INC.).

MERCHANTS OF DOUBT is presented by Sony Pictures Classics, in association with Participant Media and Omidyar Network, a film by Kenner, produced by Kenner and Melissa Robledo, executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann of Participant Media, and Pierre Omidyar of Omidyar Network, and co-produced by Brian Pearle, Taki Oldham, Dylan Nelson and Youtchi von Lintel. Directors of Photography on the film include Don Lenzer, Barry Berona and Jay Redmond with music by Mark Adler. The film will be slated to be released by the end of the year.

Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, MERCHANTS OF DOUBT takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin.  Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.

Kenner commented, “I was thrilled that Participant Media and The Omidyar Network were ready to back a comedy about science denial and that Sony Pictures Classics will be taking this film out into the world.  With MERCHANTS OF DOUBT, I saw a chance to show audiences a world they hadn’t seen before—a chance to lift the curtain and expose how these messages are crafted and sold to the public.”

“MERCHANTS OF DOUBT is that rare triple threat: well made, entertaining and destined to immediately become part of this volatile cultural debate.  We look forward to bringing this outstanding film to the world,” added Sony Pictures Classics.

Diane Weyermann, EVP of Documentary Films at Participant Media stated, “Robby’s terrific film FOOD, INC is one of Participant’s most successful, impactful documentaries, and we anticipate audiences will also embrace MERCHANTS OF DOUBT.  Sony Pictures Classics had been tracking MERCHANTS OF DOUBT since the beginning and we’re thrilled they will be taking this provocative film out to the world.” Jeff Ivers negotiated the deal for the film on behalf of Participant Media with Sony Pictures Classics.

 

ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 32 Academy Awards® (28 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 140 Academy Award® nominations (114 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AMOURMIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATIONCAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

 

ABOUT PARTICIPANT MEDIA

Participant is a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature film, television, publishing and digital content that inspires social change. Participant’s more than 55 films include Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., Waiting for ‘Superman’, The Help, Contagion and Lincoln. Participant, uniquely, launches campaigns that bring together government entities, foundations, schools, and others to raise awareness and drive people to take action on issues from each film or television show. Pivot, the company’s television network, is available in 45 million homes, serving passionate Millennials (18-34) with a diverse slate of talent and a mix of original series, acquired programming, films and documentaries. Participant’s digital network, TakePart, is a leading source of socially relevant news, opinion, entertainment and information about ways to get involved with the issues that shape our lives. Through its films, social action campaigns, digital network, and its television network, Participant seeks to entertain, encourage and empower every individual to take action.

 

ABOUT OMIDYAR NETWORK

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $709 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Government Transparency, and Property Rights www.omidyar.com.

 

ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/.

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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.