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Script Comp

BBC, SVT, RTÉ take Sundance’s Devil

BBC in the UK, Sweden’s SVT and RTÉ in Ireland are among a coalition of broadcasters to have picked up the rights to environmental documentary The Devil We Know from distributor Cinetic Media.

BBC Storyville, SVT and RTÉ are joined in the coalition by Denmark’s DR, NRK in Norway, Spain’s Movistar and Israel’s DBS Satellite Services in licensing the documentary, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The Devil We Know tells the story of a group of citizens from West Virginia who took on major corporation DuPont Chemical after they discovered the company had knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical into the drinking-water supply. It was written, directed and produced by Stephanie Soechtig.

The buyers’ coalition, which is steered by US sales agent Ro*Co films, was set up to compete with global streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon. As part of the deal, Ro*Co Films will manage all international rights for the film.

“As the subject of the environment becomes ever more urgent, it is important to bring those stories to our audiences at the BBC,” said Mandy Chang, commissioning editor, BBC Storyville.

“Being part of The Coalition meant that a group of like-minded broadcasters, who don’t have the same buying power of a Netflix or Amazon, could band together to acquire a film like The Devil We Know.”

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