INDEPENDENT BOARDS SALES FOR RISE FILMS’ NEW DOCUMENTARY THE ART OF POLITICAL MURDER

08 May 2019

The premium broadcaster has taken the North American rights to the project via its HBO Documentary Films, while Independent will take it to Cannes. The feature doc, which was previously in development as a series with Amazon, is produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures and Rise Film.

The doc will explore the murky world of post-war Guatemala and its struggle for justice. Based on Francisco Goldman’s book of the same name, The Art of Political Murder uncovers the truth behind the brutal murder of Guatemalan Bishop, Juan Gerardi, that stunned a country ravaged by decades of political violence. Just two days after presenting a damning report blaming the atrocities of the civil war on the Guatemalan military, Bishop Gerardi is found dead in his home. Fearing a cover-up, the church assembles a team of young investigators to take on the case. They begin to unearth a web of conspiracy and murder, entangling the upper echelons of the government. But as they edge closer to the truth, will the country’s criminal underbelly succeed in silencing them?

The Art of Political Murder is directed by Paul Taylor (We Are Together) with Icarus producer Teddy Leifer and Artemis Rising Foundation’s Regina K. Scully producing. Megan Davis co-produces, with Masahiro Hirakubo (The White Helmets) editing. The film shoots in Guatemala and Mexico.

Clooney and Heslov serve as Executive Producers, Associate Producers are Jan Pace and James Atherton from Quickfire Films and Cora Palfrey and Sarah Lebutsch from Independent, along with Chris Matson and Sarah Shepard.

Leifer said, “Paul Taylor is a hugely talented director and it’s so exciting to be working with him once again. George and Grant have supported me from the very beginning on this film and I am delighted to partner with Smokehouse, HBO, Artemis Rising Foundation, Quickfire and Independent to bring The Art of Political Murder to screen.”

Independent’s Lebutsch added, “Independent is proud to work with the talented filmmaking teams at Rise Films and Smokehouse Pictures on this thrilling and important documentary. The twists and turns of the investigation unfold in front of us like a powerful detective story and we are propelled into a dark world full of secrets, lies and murder. In today’s world of media cover ups and government irresponsibility, this will be a must watch film.”

Rise Films is represented by UTA and attorney Chris Matson of SmithDehn. Smokehouse is represented by CAA and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman.


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