Sundance: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Doc Nabbed by Magnolia, Participant Media

RBG Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

The deal with CNN Films for the documentary about the 84-year-old Supreme Court justice follows a premiere in Park City.

Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have picked up the worldwide rights to RBG, a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was announced Wednesday.

The deal with CNN Films will see Participant and Magnolia share worldwide theatrical, home video,  streaming VOD and international TV broadcast rights. CNN Films retains the U.S. broadcast rights.

RBG is produced by CNN Films and Storyville Films, and had a Sunday evening world premiere at Sundance. Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the film chronicles Bader Ginsburg's nearly 25 years on the High Court (she was a pick of President Bill Clinton) and how she pioneered gender equality.

With Frontiero v. Richardson in 1973 — the first case Bader Ginsburg brought before SCOTUS prior to her run as a justice — she successfully argued that female service members deserve housing allowances akin to their male counterparts.

Diane Weyermann, president of documentary film and television for Participant Media, said of the acquisition: “Justice Ginsburg is an extraordinary woman with an amazing story that is shared so beautifully in RBG, and the film presents a vital opportunity to encourage public discourse on the persistent barriers in achieving gender parity, as well as to help accelerate continued institutional policy changes necessary to overcome those barriers.”

"RBG is an incredibly inspirational film about a supremely inspirational woman,” added Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, in his own statement. “Betsy and Julie have done a phenomenal job highlighting Justice Ginsburg’s tremendous effect on all of our lives. I cannot wait to show it to my daughters," he said.

The deal was negotiated by Stacey Wolf, vp business affairs for CNN Worldwide, Kelly MacLanahan, senior counsel for CNN Worldwide, and John and Eric Sloss of Cinetic Media, on behalf of CNN Films.