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HBO, Sky pick up theatrical doc Diana

US premium cablenet HBO and Sky in the UK have acquired a feature documentary about Princess Diana that will first be released in cinemas.

Theatrical doc Diana

Produced by London- and LA-based prodco Lightbox and distributed globally by Altitude, Diana is the first documentary about the late princess to be made for theatrical release.

It has already been pre-sold to cinemas in the UK, Ireland, Benelux, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Turkey.

Set to hit cinemas in summer 2022, marking the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, it will then make its TV premiere on HBO and HBO Max in the US and Sky Documentaries in the UK.

Diana is directed by Ed Perkins and draws on thousands of hours of news reports, previously unseen footage and photographs to record the life and times of the princess.

Perkins said: “The life and death of Princess Diana remains one of the defining stories of our times. Although we are telling a story which has been told and re-told many times, my aim is to reframe it for a modern audience and make it feel as fresh and relevant as ever. The idea of taking an archive-only approach will allow us to immerse audiences in the narrative as if it were being told in the present.

“I want to bring this account of her life to audiences in a more emotional and unmediated way than has been done before and, rather than re-analysing it or offering another retrospective commentary, I want to invite audiences to bring their own memories and reflections and allow them to see and experience it afresh.”

Lightbox is the production company founded by Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man, Whitney) and Jonathan Chinn (LA 92, American High, Whitney).

Lightbox’s recent productions include Whitney, from Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald; Netflix feature doc Tell Me Who I Am; Black Sheep, about the aftermath of London schoolboy Damilola Taylor’s murder; and Untouchable, a theatrical doc about the Weinstein scandal.

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