'Hunt' ends with rights to ThinkFilm


NEW YORK -- ThinkFilm has acquired North American rights to "The Trials of Darryl Hunt," the true story of a man wrongly convicted of rape and murder. Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's film was placed on the Oscar shortlist Wednesday for best documentary.

Producer HBO Documentary Films will partner with ThinkFilm to distribute "Hunt," which follows a black man's 20-year struggle to be released from prison after being found guilty in the death of a white woman. He was sentenced in 1984 based on the testimony of a onetime Ku Klux Klan member and kept in prison despite a 1994 DNA test clearing him of the crime.

"Hunt," produced by Katie Brown and William Rexer II, won the audience award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and top prizes at several other fests nationwide. It's the 10th ThinkFilm docu to make the Oscar shortlist in the distributor's five-year history.

ThinkFilm will roll out "Hunt" in select theaters next year and handle the DVD release. The film already was slated to appear on HBO next year; the DVD/pay TV window has not been determined.

The deal was negotiated by ThinkFilm executive vp acquisitions and business affairs Randy Manis with Alison Hunter from Sloss Law on behalf of the filmmakers.