HBO Documentary Films Acquires Laura Poitras Oscar Contender ‘All The Beauty And The Bloodshed’ Ahead Of TIFF North American Premiere

·3 min read

HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. television and streaming rights to Oscar winner Laura Poitras’s film All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, fresh from its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and sneak preview at Telluride.

The film about artist Nan Goldin and her crusade against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and its owners is an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival, with a debut screening set for Friday. From TIFF, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed will head to the New York Film Festival, where it has been chosen as the centerpiece selection (Goldin is designing the festival’s 60th anniversary poster). The Participant production has instantly leapt into the Oscar conversation, a spotlight familiar to Poitras after her 2015 Academy Award run with Citizenfour, her film on NSA contractor-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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Artist Nan Goldin - Credit: HBO/Participant
Artist Nan Goldin - Credit: HBO/Participant


TIFF chief documentary programmer Thom Powers calls Poitras’s latest a “richly-layered film” that explores Goldin’s artistic oeuvre, family background, and activism focused on the opioid epidemic.

“…Poitras started filming three years ago as Goldin was marshalling a protest against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin,” Powers writes in the TIFF program. “For Goldin, the crusade is deeply personal because she became addicted soon after being prescribed the drug. Her dependency lasted several years, and she narrowly escaped being one of the half million Americans who have died from opioid overdoses. It’s doubly personal because Purdue’s owners, the Sackler family, have long whitewashed their billions by donating to art museums including those that collect Goldin’s work.”

Powers adds, “We watch her lead the activist group Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (P.A.I.N.) to hold demonstrations at the Met, Guggenheim, and Louvre. Remarkably, the galvanizing campaign has real consequences.”

The HBO Documentary Films acquisition renews a partnership between Poitras, Participant and HBO, which released Citizenfour (that earlier film was a production of HBO and Participant). All the Beauty and the Bloodshed will premiere on HBO at an undisclosed date and will stream on HBO Max.

Laura Poitras speaks at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, May 19, 2016 - Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Carey
Laura Poitras speaks at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, May 19, 2016 - Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Carey

Courtesy of Matthew Carey

In a statement, Poitras said, “Nan’s art has inspired so many artists’ and filmmakers’ work, including mine. It is an honor to take this journey with her, and I’m thrilled to be reunited with HBO and our Citizenfour team for the release.”

As Deadline reported last month, Neon is handling theatrical distribution of All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. It’s expected to open in cinemas this fall.

Executive Producers of the film are Participant’s Jeff Skoll and the late Diane Weyermann, Clare Carter, Alex Kwartler, and Hayley Theisen. Producers are Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Goldin, Yoni Golijov, and Poitras.

Liesl Copland, Participant’s EVP Content Strategy & Sales, Adam Macy, Senior Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs; and Rob Williams, SVP, Global Sales, negotiated the HBO deal on behalf of Participant.

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