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The blowup of crypto exchange FTX and the fall from grace of its founder Sam Bankman-Fried (also known as SBF) is going to be the subject of a new documentary feature in the works from Vice Media and the tech business publication The Information.
The doc, SBF and the End of Silicon Valley, will be delivered in Q2 2023 and will feature reporting from The Information‘s crypto and venture capital teams, and Vice’s Motherboard team. FTX’s inexperienced leadership, the role of VCs and Bankman-Fried’s obsession with “effective altruism” will all be dissected in the doc.
Vice Distribution will sell the project in all territories.
The project is the first documentary effort for The Information, which was founded by veteran business journalist Jessica Lessin in 2013.
“There are so many people involved in this story who should have known better, and did know better,” said Lessin in a statement. “At the same time that the first generation of Silicon Valley giants were facing turbulent markets, new business challenges, and mass layoffs, money kept pouring into FTX as they tried to upend the world financial system with risk-seeking schemes that no one dared question. This story marks the end of an era in Silicon Valley. A new Dark Age is coming.”
For Vice, the project is the latest in a line up of documentary projects that tackle timely financial matters, including Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis, and The Big Squeeze, about the GameStop memestock phenomenon. Vice is also out shopping a docu-series about the world of crypto called Cowboy Kings of Crypto detailing other crypto frauds and failures.
“Just as Vice News made the definitive chronicle of the 2008 financial collapse in Panic, and the major documentary series, Cryptoland, we have the access and the expertise to tell this fin de siecle Silicon Valley morality tale of hubris and excess,” added Jesse Angelo, global president of news and entertainment at Vice Media Group, in a statement. “Together with The Information, we will show how hype became belief, belief became mania, and mania became potential criminality.”
The project is entering a hot market, with multiple projects about Bankman-Fried and FTX in the works.
A competing doc from non-fiction studio XTR — the outfit behind titles like They Call Me Magic and The Territory — is already in production in the Bahamas, where FTX is headquartered. That project will be directed by David Darg.
Meanwhile, Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball, The Big Short and Flash Boys, is out pitching film and TV rights to an upcoming book based on Bankman-Fried, who Lewis had been spending time with leading up to the collapse of FTX.
Mia Galuppo contributed to this report.
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