Magnolia picks up 'Countdown to Zero'

Lucy Walker's doc debuted at Sundance Film Festival

Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American theatrical rights to "Countdown to Zero," Lucy Walker's documentary about the escalating nuclear arms race that debuted at Sundance. Magnolia will release the film in theaters this year.

History Channel picked up the U.S. TV broadcast rights.

"Countdown" was produced by Lawrence Bender and developed, financed and exec produced by Participant Media, together with World Security Institute. Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Bruce Blair and Matt Brown served as exec producers.

The film, which argues for nuclear disarmament, features such global figures as Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair. Valerie Plame Wilson, who also appears in the film, introduced a clip from it last week at the annual TED Conference in Long Beach. It also screened this month at Global Zero Summit in Paris.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Josh Braun and Jason Janego of Submarine and Jeff Ivers of Participant with Tom Quinn and Dori Begley of Magnolia and History's Peter Gaffney.