Deals: Northern Banner, Brainstorm Media, Super Channel

Northern Banner nabs Hot Docs winner The Walrus and the Whistleblower for Canada, while Brainstorm Media picks up the U.S. rights to The Cuban, plus more.
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Northern Banner Releasing

Northern Banner Releasing has acquired writer/director/producer Nathalie Bibeau’s feature The Walrus and the Whistleblower (pictured) for Canada.

The deal was inked during the Cannes Virtual Market by Northern Banner’s Michael Paszt and Burnaby Films’ Frederic Bohbot. Bohbot serves as a producer on the critically-acclaimed and controversial film following former MarineLand trainer-turned-whistleblower Phil Demers. Northern Banner Releasing is Raven Banner Entertainment’s specialty distribution arm focused on award-winning independent films.

Made in association with the documentary Channel and CBC Docs, The Walrus and the Whistleblower was one of five Canadian films to earn a portion of the Hot Docs Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature. The film, which made its world premiere as part of the festival and was part of Hot Docs at Home on CBC, earned a $10,000 cash prize and received the most audience votes. Since Hot Docs is an Academy Award qualifying festival and the documentary received the most votes, the film is now eligible for consideration in the Oscars’ Documentary Feature section without a standard theatrical run and providing it complies with Academy rules.

Brainstorm Media

L.A.-based distributor Brainstorm Media has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to The Cuban, written by Alessandra Piccione and directed by Sergio Navarretta.

Negotiated by Brainstorm Media VP of marketing and acquisitions Michelle Shwarzstein and S.N.A.P. Films’ Piccione, the feature starring Louis Gossett Jr. (Watchmen) and Ana Golja (Degrassi: Next Class) will be released in U.S. cinemas theatrically and virtually on July 31, with a VOD release set for this fall.

Produced by S.N.A.P. Films’ Piccione and Navarretta alongside Golja and Taras Koltun, The Cuban follows a naive pre-med student who develops an unexpected friendship with an older Cuban musician, reigniting her love of music and changing her life. The Ontario and Cuba-shot musical journey also stars Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse), Lauren Holly (Tiny Pretty Things) and Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy).

Super Channel

Super Channel has nabbed all seven seasons of critically-acclaimed drama series Mad Men, created by Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate Television.

On July 1, the award-winning series following fictional advertising agency Sterling Cooper during the golden age of advertising and Madison Avenue’s biggest ad man Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) made its debut on Super Channel Fuse. Episodes will air weeknights, with two episodes being broadcast back-to-back Monday to Friday, starting at 7 p.m.

All seasons of Mad Men will be available exclusively on Super Channel in Canada until Oct. 1, 2020. The first two seasons are already available on Super Channel On Demand. Each full season will be available on Super Channel On Demand coinciding with the start of its linear play, according to a press release.

Elevation Pictures

Elevation Pictures has picked up the Canadian rights to director Pablo Larrain’s upcoming feature Spencer from FilmNation at the Cannes Virtual Market. A spokesperson for Elevation Pictures confirmed to Playback Daily that the deal was signed by co-president Laurie May. As reported by DeadlineSpencer is set to star Kristen Stewart and follow the late Princess Diana over the course of her final Christmas holidays with the House of Windsor.