ABACUS MEDIA RIGHTS SEALS DEAL FOR REEL BRITANNIA DOCUMENTARY SERIES WHICH TELLS THE FASCINATING STORY OF MODERN BRITISH CINEMA
BRITBOX TO EXCLUSIVELY PREMIERE IN US, CANADA, UK, AND SOUTH AFRICA
Amcomri Entertainment Inc company, Abacus Media Rights (AMR), has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Reel Britannia from independent duo Jon Spira and Hank Starrs, (Canal Cat Films), who have an established track record in making popular, unique and entertaining film documentaries.
Reel Britannia (4 x 60’) has been picked up by BritBox in the UK, US, Canada, and South Africa following deals closed by Abacus Media Rights. It is a bold, ambitious and visually striking documentary project from director Jon Spira and producer Hank Starrs, who collaborated on Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntman – also available on BritBox UK – and Elstree 1976, and tells the colourful and far-reaching story of modern British cinema in all its vibrancy.
Decade by decade, from 1960 through to 2010, the series portrays how cinema held a broken mirror up to society to reflect on the youth revolution of the 1960s, the grit of the 1970s, the social divide of the 1980s, new hope of the 1990s and the social disillusionment of the 00s. It explores the less- told stories from the producers, production companies and studio boardrooms which shaped our national filmic identity.
Narrated by actor and comedian Nick Helm, Reel Britannia is a patchwork of brand-new exclusive interviews (featuring Terry Gilliam, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Hanif Kureishi, Mike Newell, Simon Beaufoy, David Leland and Terence Davies with more to come), and archival interviews alongside behind-the-scenes footage. In the 1960s, the Social Realism movement told new stories of the working class and ethnic minorities. It gave us new stars like Albert Finney and Julie Christie, whilst James Bond brought a touch of glamour and machismo to our screens. The 70s produced award- winning filmmakers like Nicolas Roeg and Ken Russell whose psychedelic cinematic visions swept the world but also gave us gritty classics like Get Carter. In the 1980s, epic British cinema took over the world with Oscar winners such as Chariots of Fire and Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi but also was the era of small production companies creating unique classics like Withnail & I. Trainspotting, The Full Monty and Hugh Grant all become global phenomena in the 90s – but where could British cinema go from there? For the first time ever on TV, this series compiles a comprehensive and exciting modern history of British cinema.
Jonathan Ford, Managing Director at AMR comments, “This entertaining and informative series will thrill our international viewers who love watching movies, and give them access to an incredible line- up of films which no longer get talked about or promoted. It will flesh out the core of modern British cinema history and allow for a prequel series and a number of spin-offs as we move into future decades.”
Jon Spira, Director states, “This is the dream project for me. Having become known for my indie documentaries about cinema, the next step I wanted to take was to tell a much broader story on a bigger canvas. AMR has given Hank and I the chance to really stretch our wings and go wild with almost 60 years of incredible British cinema history to play with. It covers the classic films audiences love but also really comes alive as we reveal the untold stories from behind the scenes, bring back some long-forgotten faces and expose some absolute gems which have been overlooked for decades.”
Hank Starrs, Producer adds, “Reel Britannia will be my fifth collaboration with Jon Spira. Over the years we have developed a fantastic, inspiring, and telekinetic working relationship so I’m really looking forward to realising this new project. It will be my third collaboration with Jonathan Ford at AMR who have proven to be a splendid and high performing sales partner in an everchanging global sales marketplace.”