HBO Nabs U.S. Rights to 'Very Semi-Serious'

Very Semi-Serious Still - H 2015
Courtesy of HBO Films

Very Semi-Serious Still - H 2015

The film about The New Yorker cartoonists debuts Dec. 7 exclusively on HBO following a limited theatrical run beginning in November.

HBO has acquired U.S. rights to Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists.

Directed by Leah Wolchok and produced by Davina Pardo, the feature-length film is described as an offbeat meditation on humor, art and the genius of the single panel cartoon.

Very Semi-Serious debuts Dec. 7 exclusively on HBO following a limited theatrical run beginning Nov. 20 in New York at Lincoln Plaza, in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater and in Los Angeles.

The film, which marks Wolchok's debut, made its world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. For 90 years, The New Yorker has published the single-panel cartoons, which have become an instantly recognizable cultural touchstone.

Very Semi-Serious offers an unprecedented glimpse into the process behind the cartoons, following cartoon editor Bob Mankoff as he sifts through hundreds of submissions and pitches every week to bring readers a carefully curated selection of insightful and humorous work. Additional interviews include editor David Remnick, cartoonists Roz Chast and Mort Gerberg and young hopefuls like graphic novelist Liana Finck.

"We are thrilled Very Semi-Serious has found a home at HBO," Wolchok said. "The New Yorker cartoons bring insightful humor to the magazine weekly, and we hope the HBO audience enjoys meeting and spending some time with their creators."

Wolchok also produced. Regina K. Scully, Deborah Shaffer and Bruce Sinofsky served as executive producers. Joanna Sokolowski co-produced.

Cinetic Media negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.