These are ripe times for filmmakers and documentarians to explore the world we live in. Catastrophes of unprecedented scale, the collapsing of systems and institutions long thought unshakeable… We are surrounded by problems and events that need figuring out, and our visual artists should always have a role in that process. People are hungry for dynamic and visual dissection of the issues, as is evidenced by the growing popularity of online videos based around motion graphics, and minimalist data presentation (see the end credits of The Other Guys for a good example of they style I’m talking about), and more and more documentarians are slickly integrating these techniques into their work. Long gone are the days of stuffy, slow, droning documentaries that fail to teach their sleeping audience a damn thing.
Global warming is an issue that is a nice hand-grenade for any polite conversation, the mere mention of which tends to send people into stubborn, blind dismissal or context-less hysterics. It seems the new documentary Cool It, from two-time Sundance Jury Prize Winner Ondi Timoner, has chosen that very subject for its divisiveness, as an opportunity to inject more problem solving into the equation. Specifically taking issue with the watershed An Inconvenient Truth, the film is positioned as a “refreshing perspective” but doesn’t seem to be coming from a place of denial (or hysteria).
Of course, this is not an unprecedented route as The 11th Hour, and So Right, So Smart have both positioned themselves as solution-based documentaries based on the global environmental situation. Cool It has a received a strong endorsement though, via the purchase of the film by Roadside Attractions (distributors of The Cove) before it even makes its debut at TIFF.
Included below is the acquisition announcement. Peruse the film’s description and credentials and decide for yourself if it sounds like something to which you want to give two hours and an open mind. Let us know what you think on the CHUD MESSAGE BOARDS.
**Global warming doc takes issue with AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH**
(Los Angeles, Sept. 1) Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. rights to filmmaker Ondi Timoner’s hot-topic doc COOL IT, which will have its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The only filmmaker to win the Sundance Grand Jury prize twice, Timoner trains her camera on controversial economist/political scientist Bjorn Lomborg, who came to prominence with the book The Skeptical Environmentalist (1998), and went on to challenge the conventional wisdom of Al Gore’s AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH with lectures and the publication of Cool It (2007). The announcement was made by Roadside Attractions co-presidents Eric d’Arbeloff and Howard Cohen, who plan a fall 2010 release. Maple Pictures will distribute in Canada.
“Many docs we see are satisfied to introduce yet another problem to fret about,” said d’Arbeloff, “but COOL IT is so exciting because it’s radically structured toward solutions. In the same way our movie THE COVE demonstrated that a small group of activists can change the world, we think that this brave film could help start real progress on global warming.”
“Cool It blasts through the polarizing logjam of the climate change debate to bring a solid plan for solutions,” echoes Timoner. “Bjorn is fascinating, because in his attempt to make the world a smarter, better, more efficient place, he’s threatened the status quo, and been vilified by both the right and the left simultaneously. His story is riddled with conspiracy, controversy and politics surrounding a subject matter that truly affects us all.”
“Bjorn ‘s message is extremely provocative”, added producer Terry Botwick. “He brings a refreshing perspective on how we think about solving, not just global warming, but also other major problems facing the world. When I first heard him lecture I knew 1019 had to help introduce him to as wide an audience as possible.”
COOL IT was produced by 1019 Entertainment, with 1019 principals Terry Botwick and Ralph Winter as executive producers. Producers are Terry Botwick, Sarah Gibson and Ondi Timoner. Director is Ondi Timoner, who captured the Grand Jury prize in Sundance for DIG! (2004) and WE LIVE IN PUBLIC (2009).
The deal was negotiated by d’Arbeloff and attorney Greg Bernstein on behalf of Roadside Attractions and Botwick and attorney Steve Fayne of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld on behalf of 1019 Entertainment.
ABOUT ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Roadside Attractions is a film distribution company committed to championing independent films with a willingness to entertain. The company works with filmmakers to devise innovative marketing strategies that encourage audiences to see films that are not typical studio fare. Roadside Attractions’ 2009 release THE COVE captured the Academy Award for best feature documentary. Among its 2010 releases is Debra Granik’s critically-hailed WINTER’S BONE, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the outrageous Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor starrer I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s acclaimed BIUTIFUL, for which star Javier Bardem captured the Best Actor Award in Cannes and Ondi Timoner’s COOL IT documentary, which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Previous theatrical releases include Chris Rock’s GOOD HAIR; RJ Cutler’s THE SEPTEMER ISSUE; Ramin Bahrani’s GOODBYE SOLO, winner of the 2008 Venice Film Festival’s FIPRESCI International Critics’ prize; Patrick Creadon’s Sundance sensation I.O.U.S.A; Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice winner, BELLA; Andrew Wagner’s Spirit Award-nominated STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING; Tarsem’s groundbreaking visual marvel THE FALL; the outrageous comedy SARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC; Cannes Directors Fortnight hit CARAMEL; Academy Award® nominee SUPER SIZE ME; Spirit Award winner THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO, as well as box office hits such as AMAZING GRACE, LADIES IN LAVENDER and WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW?
ABOUT 1019 ENTERTAINMENT
1019 Entertainment is a film production and finance company formed by Terry Botwick and Ralph Winter. 1019 Entertainment has more than 25 projects in development, both internally and at the studios, including DEAN KOONTZ FRANKENSTEIN, TRIXIE also with Koontz, Paul Verhoeven’s SURROGATE starring Halle Berry and the action thriller MAN AND WIFE in conjunction with Peter Chernin.