Film Premiered Yesterday at Slamdance Film Festival
Announcement Expands Multi-Faceted Partnership Between Lionsgate and Discovery
PARK CITY, Utah and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Communications' Animal Planet and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) have partnered to acquire the rights in the U.S., Canada and the UK to the documentary film sensation MILLION DOLLAR DUCK, the two companies announced today. Animal Planet has acquired television rights to the film while Lionsgate will distribute MILLION DOLLAR DUCK on a limited basis theatrically and on digital home entertainment and packaged media. Directed by Brian Golden Davis, the film had its world premiere on Sunday at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and will air on Animal Planet in the fall following its theatrical run.
MILLION DOLLAR DUCK dives into the wonderfully eccentric world of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest—the only juried art competition run by the U.S. government. The Duck Stamp is among the most successful conservation tools ever created, simultaneously spawning a uniquely American subculture brimming with talent, ego, art, controversy, big money, and migratory waterfowl. Following six wildlife artists striving to win "the Olympics of wildlife art," MILLION DOLLAR DUCK brings to life the high tension competition as one by one each is eliminated, leaving a winner whose life will be changed forever.
"From the moment I saw MILLION DOLLAR DUCK, I knew Animal Planet would be the perfect home for this heartfelt and humorous film," said Rich Ross, Group President of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. "Showcasing this film brings to light this special program that supports wetlands conservation and aligns with our network's goal to activate people on animal welfare concerns."
"We're proud to extend our strategic partnership with Discovery on this terrific film," said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. "Poignant, quirky, hilarious and tremendously engaging, MILLION DOLLAR DUCK is the perfect property to kick off our alliance with Discovery on documentary films and other long-form content that creates tremendous opportunities for both our companies."
"Some of the greatest docs ever made have been about either sub-cultures or competitions," added John Hoffman, EVP Documentaries and Specials Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel. "Brian has brought these two genres together in a perfect way that makes us laugh and care. He's made wildlife artists into superstars."
"I'm thrilled to have The Million Dollar Duck find a home with Animal Planet and Lionsgate," said Golden Davis. "I made this film because I wanted to explore the quirky world of The Federal Duck Stamp Contest, where the artists were motivated by their sheer love of nature and conservation, and I can't think of better platforms to help share our 'duck tale' with the world than Animal Planet and Lionsgate."
The deal was negotiated by John Hoffman and Ryan Harrington on behalf of Discovery Communications, EVP Theatrical Acquisitions & Co-Productions Eda Kowan and acquisitions executive Lauren Freeman for Lionsgate and Abby Davis and Adam Galen of Preferred Content on behalf of the filmmakers.
MILLION DOLLAR DUCK is directed by Brian Golden Davis and executive produced by multiple Academy Award winning filmmaker Mark Jonathan Harris and Richard Prager. The editor is Derek Boonstra, the cinematographer is Christian Bruno and Laura Young Lee and Kye Woo Lee are co-producers.
The partnership on MILLION DOLLAR DUCK is the latest in Discovery's expanding relationship with Lionsgate. Discovery and Liberty Global invested in Lionsgate in November 2015, and Lionsgate and Discovery have also announced a home entertainment distribution agreement under which Lionsgate distributes Discovery programming on packaged media platforms in the U.S.
About Animal Planet
Animal Planet, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. Animal Planet consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 94 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; Animal Planet L!VE, the go-to digital destination for round-the-clock, unfiltered access to the animal kingdom; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service, and merchandising extensions.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. For 30 years Discovery has been satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers with high-quality content through its global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including TestTube, Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
Peter D. Wilkes