TIFF: Yo-Yo Ma Doc 'The Music of Strangers' Nabbed by The Orchard, HBO

The deal was made in advance of the film’s world premiere this week at the Toronto Film Festival.

The Orchard and HBO have jointly acquired rights to Morgan Neville's documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

The deal, which was made in advance of the film’s world premiere this week at the Toronto Film Festival, sees The Orchard taking all worldwide rights of the doc with the exception of U.S. domestic TV rights, which HBO landed.

The Orchard is planning a theatrical release in spring 2016, with an HBO premiere to follow.

The Tremolo Prods. film from Participant Media and The Silk Road Project follows an international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma -- a group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers who explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

Neville, who directed the Oscar-winning doc 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically acclaimed Best of Enemies, also produced the film with Caitrin Rogers of Tremolo. The film was made with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Pershing Square Foundation and the Ford Foundation JustFilms. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann executive produced alongside HBO’s Sheila Nevins, Motto Pictures’ Julie Goldman and The Silk Road Project’s Laura Freid. Cristin Canterbury Bagnall co-produced.

The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo for The Orchard, Gabe Brakin for Participant and Josh Braun of Submarine, who also brokered the deal with HBO.

The Music of Strangers represents an exciting opportunity for us to work closely with who we consider to be the triple-threat of documentary powerhouses – Morgan, Participant and HBO,” The Orchard’s Paul Davidson said. “Morgan’s film is an inspiring and soulful experience we are proud to be a part of.”

Added Nevins: “What could be better than being involved in a film that erases differences in the name of music?"

Upstart distributor The Orchard most recently released The Overnight, Cartel Land and Digging for Fire. Upcoming releases include Finders Keepers, Nasty Baby and Louder Than Bombs.

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