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In the sub-zero temperatures of Utah, U.K.-based documentary banner Dogwoof has swooped on Jim: The James Foley Story, Brian Oakes’ directorial debut chronicling the life, work and death of U.S. war correspondent James Foley.
The film – which is having its world premiere in Sundance and saw its U.S. TV rights picked up by HBO Documentary Films earlier in the month – will be represented for international sales by Dogwoof, which will present it to buyers at the EFM in Berlin next month. Dogwoof will also distribute the film itself in the U.K. this year.
Foley was kidnapped in Syria on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 while working for Agence France-Presse and GlobalPost and went missing for two years before the infamous video of his public execution in 2014 at the hands of ISIS sent shockwaves around the world. Director Oakes, a close childhood friend of the photojournalist, tells his story through intimate interviews with family, friends and colleagues, while fellow hostages reveal never-before-heard details of his captivity.
“Jim is a deeply immersive film which offers an unparalleled insight into the world of being a hostage. It’s simply extraordinary, in every way,” said Dogwoof CEO Anna Godas. “The fact that Dogwoof has been trusted to handle this film is a total privilege.”
Oakes added that the film had “tremendous significance” outside of the U.S. because of the story’s global impact. “His work as a journalist crossed many borders,” he said. “Because Jim was held in Syria with eighteen other hostages which included citizens from France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Britain, Russia and Italy, many of the film’s interviews took place in Europe.”
Jim: The James Foley Story is produced by Eva Lipman, George Kunhardt and Teddy Kunhardt and exec produced by Peter Kunhardt. It also includes an original song “The Empty Chair”, written by J. Ralph & Sting, who is set to attend Sundance on Saturday for a performance in support of the film.
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