Robert Beaumont, President of Lightning Entertainment (“Lightning”), announced today that the Santa Monica-based sales, production and distribution company has acquired all international rights to Bert Marcus Productions’ acclaimed documentary feature film HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS.
The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival to an enthusiastic audience and critical acclaim and was instantly acquired by Tribeca Films for the U.S. rights. Set for both theatrical release and on VOD in more than 40 million homes in 2013, the provocative documentary presents a shockingly candid examination of how a street dealer can rise to cartel lord with relative ease. By blending authentic reportage with pop culture references, the documentary further reveals how public policy and government drug enforcement have struggled to creatively adapt to and effectively disincentive Americans from dealing drugs. The film’s message delivers a captivating glimpse into the lives of those on both sides of the “war on drugs” by conveying a diverse and unique perspective on the controversial subject through interviews with 50 Cent, The Wire producer David Simon, Arianna Huffington, Woody Harrelson, Eminem and Susan Sarandon, as well as infamous drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross. Bert Marcus Productions was granted unprecedented access from top‐ranking government officials, including the U.S. Drug Czar and the Drug Enforcement Agency, all providing pointed and honest viewpoints on this pervasive global topic.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS is directed by Matthew Cooke who produced the Academy Award nominated documentary feature film DELIVER US FROM EVIL. The film reunites producers Bert Marcus and Adrian Grenier (HBO’s Entourage), the team that created the breakout documentary hit TEENAGE PAPARAZZO.
The acquisition was negotiated for Lightning by Beaumont and Audrey Delaney, VP of Acquisitions, Business Development and Marketing, and consultant Richard S. Guardian, with ICM Partners and Lawrence Kopeikin negotiating on behalf of the filmmakers.
Lightning’s international sales team led by Mathilde Epstein and Alexandra Cocean, VPs of International Sales, will introduce the film to overseas buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.
“This is a uniquely dynamic documentary which is both incredibly entertaining, but also very insightful and profound in the message it delivers,” said Beaumont. “The scope and intelligence of the filmmakers’ examination of the subject is extraordinary.”
In addition to HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS, Lightning’s high profile AFM slate also includes the comedy THE HOT FLASHES starring Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen, Camryn Manheim and Wanda Sykes that will premiere for buyers at the AFM, the Russian animated 3D film KIKORIKI: TEAM INVINCIBLE from blockbuster producer Timur Bekmambetov, the star-studded comedy STRUCK BY LIGHTNING starring Glee’s Chris Colfer and Rebel Wilson and two additional films also premiering at the AFM: the thriller FIVE THIRTEEN starring Danny Trejo and Tom Sizemore and the family film HEAVEN’S DOOR starring Charisma Carpenter (THE EXPENDABLES 2) and Joanna Cassidy (HBO’s Six Feet Under). The slate also includes the Liam Hemsworth starrer LOVE AND HONOR, and WHOLE LOTTA SOLE starring Brendan Fraser, directed by Oscar winner Terry George (HOTEL RWANDA).
SOURCE: Lightning Entertainment