Sundance Doc Winner 'Rich Hill' Goes to Orchard and Independent Lens

"Rich Hill"

The documentary about three teen boys and their families living on the edge of poverty will be released theatrically in 18 markets and air on PBS.

Independent Lens, the TV series that airs on PBS, and The Orchard, the film and music distribution company, are partnering to distribute Rich Hill, winner for the grand jury prize for best documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Directed by Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, Rich Hill follows the lives of three teenage boys and their families living on the edge of poverty in the town of Rich Hill, Missouri, as they deal with daily challenges of growing up.

The Orchard acquired all rights to the film in the U.S. and Canada except for linear broadcast rights, which were taken by Independent Lends. Orchard will release Rich Hill theatrically in 18 markets, as well as across all major digital outlets as part of its new, festival documentary imprint Opus Docs. 

"Rich Hill is a beautiful, powerful, and important film that puts a human face on rural poverty in a respectful and artistic way. The Orchard is thrilled to be able to use our expertise, technology, and relationships to distribute the film across theatrical and digital platforms in North America, engaging audiences and creating impact for a film that we feel should be seen by the widest possible audience," said Danielle DiGiacomo, The Orchard's head of documentary acquisitions, who negotiated the deal for her company. 

“Independent Lens funded Tracy's film Be Good, Smile Pretty, which premiered on Season 2 and went on to win an Emmy Award for best documentary," said Lois VossenIndependent Lens senior series producer. "We're very pleased to be working with Andrew and Tracy again on Rich Hill, an immersive portrait of the devastating economic blight that has clouded the American dream."

Zac Bright and Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content and Linda Lichter of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler and Feldman brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.