TORONTO, ON – (September 11, 2015) – In advance of the film’s world premiere this week at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), rights to the new documentary film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble have been acquired by The Orchard and HBO. The Orchard has acquired all worldwide rights of the Tremolo Production with the exception of U.S. domestic television rights, which HBO has acquired from Participant Media and The Silk Road Project. The Orchard is planning a theatrical release in the spring of 2016 with an HBO premiere to follow.
From Morgan Neville, the director of the Oscar®-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom and the critically-acclaimed Best of Enemies, the new film The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble tells the extraordinary story of an international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The film follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble was directed by Morgan Neville and produced by Neville and Caitrin Rogers of Tremolo Productions, in association with Participant Media and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Pershing Square Foundation and the Ford Foundation JustFilms. The film’s executive producers include Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann, HBO’s Sheila Nevins, Motto Pictures’ Julie Goldman, as well as The Silk Road Project’s Laura Freid and co-executive producer Cristin Canterbury Bagnall.
The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo for The Orchard, Gabe Brakin for Participant Media and Josh Braun of Submarine, who also negotiated the deal with HBO.
“The Music of Strangers represents an exciting opportunity for us to work closely with who we consider to be the triple-threat of Documentary powerhouses – Morgan, Participant and HBO,” said The Orchard’s SVP of Film and TV, Paul Davidson. “Morgan’s film is an inspiring and soulful experience we are proud to be a part of.”
“What could be better than being involved in a film that erases differences in the name of music,” commented Sheila Nevins, President, HBO Documentary Films.
“Music of Strangers is a film about the many ways music brings people together. We are thrilled that HBO and The Orchard are joining us to share this story with the world,” said Morgan Neville, Tremolo Productions.
“Morgan Neville traveled across three continents to tell the amazing stories of Yo-Yo Ma and these talented ensemble members. We are grateful that his remarkable storytelling so powerfully portrays the ways music, art and culture can connect us to the unfamiliar and create positive change. We can’t wait to share this with audiences near and far,” said Laura Freid, CEO of Silkroad.
“Participant is delighted to have such an incredible team on board to deliver Morgan Neville’s outstanding film to audiences in theaters and at home: The Orchard—who we are excited to collaborate with for the first time, and HBO—who we’ve successfully teamed with on 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, as well as this year’s Oscar-winner CITIZENFOUR,” said Diane Weyermann, Participant’s EVP, Documentary Films.
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOWSM, the network’s internet only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.
HBO Documentary Films offers a full spectrum of stellar, non-fiction programming by acclaimed documentary filmmakers. Its powerful, uncompromising, and critically acclaimed programming has won virtually every award within the documentary genre.
ABOUT TREMOLO PRODUCTIONS
Tremolo Productions is a documentary production company founded by Morgan Neville, specializing in cultural storytelling. Films include the 2014 Grammy and Academy Award-winning 20 Feet from Stardom, this year’s hit Best of Enemies, Troubadours, Beauty is Embarrassing and others. Tremolo has been nominated for three other Grammys for the music films: Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied and Johnny Cash’s America.
ABOUT PARTICIPANT MEDIA
Participant Media is a leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires and compels social change. Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for viewers to get involved. Participant’s more than 60 films include Lincoln, Contagion, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Food, Inc., Waiting For ‘Superman,’ CITIZENFOUR and An Inconvenient Truth. Participant has also launched more than a dozen original series, including “Please Like Me,” “Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” and “Fortitude,” for its television network, Pivot. Participant’s digital hub, TakePart, serves millions of socially conscious consumers each month with daily articles, videos and opportunities to take action. Follow Participant Media on Twitter at @Participantand on Facebook.
ABOUT THE SILK ROAD PROJECT
The Silk Road Project is an internationally minded nonprofit founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, with a mission to promote innovation and learning through the arts. Taking inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading routes, the Project explores the intersections of cultures, art forms and disciplines. Under the leadership of Mr. Ma and CEO and Executive Director Laura Freid, the Silk Road Project unites the performing arts, education and business, encouraging collaboration among artists and musicians, educators and entrepreneurs. Hyosung Corp. is Lead Sponsor of the Silk Road Project 2011-2014.
ABOUT THE ORCHARD
The Orchard is a pioneering film, TV, and music distribution company operating in more than 25 global markets. With a holistic approach to sales and marketing combined with industry-leading technology and operations, The Orchard amplifies reach and revenue across hundreds of digital, physical and mobile outlets around the world. The Orchard streamlines content owners’ business complexity with an intuitive client dashboard, comprehensive rights management and tailored client support. Founded in 1997, The Orchard empowers businesses and creators in the entertainment industry. The Orchard most recently released THE OVERNIGHT, CARTEL LAND, and DIGGING FOR FIRE in theaters. Upcoming releases include FINDERS KEEPERS, NASTY BABY, and LOUDER THAN BOMBS. For further information, please visit www.theorchard.com.