Monday, 27 February 2012

‘UNDEFEATED’ WINS OSCAR FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

FILM PRODUCED BY EXCLUSIVE MEDIA’S SPITFIRE PICTURES AND ZIPPER BROS FILMS

DIRECTED BY DAN LINDSAY AND T.J. MARTIN

Los Angeles, CA (February 26, 2012) – UNDEFEATED wins the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26.  The documentary was produced by Exclusive Media’s documentary division, Spitfire Pictures, and Zipper Bros Films in association with Level 22 and Five Smooth Stones Productions. Currently in theatres through The Weinstein Company, UNDEFEATED was directed by Dan Lindsay (LAST CUP: ROAD TO THE WORLD SERIES OF BEER PONGand T.J. Martin (ON THE ROCKS).

Glen Zipper, Exclusive Media’s Head of Documentary Features, produced the film alongside Ed Cunningham, Seth Gordon, co-director Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas.  Exclusive Media’s Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East executive produced the film with Zipper Bros Films President Dr. Ralph Zipper, Chris Miller, Paolo Coppola, Neeraj Kohli, Michele Farinola and Jillian Longnecker, Exclusive Media’s SVP, Head of Physical Productions.

Sinclair said, “I am thrilled that the Academy has chosen UNDEFEATED as Best Documentary Feature. The result is a testament to Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s talent for powerful storytelling. I’d like to congratulate Glen Zipper and the team at Spitfire Pictures, The Weinstein Company and all our partners on this film. And of course, thanks must go to the Manassas Tigers football team and Bill Courtney, for allowing us to be part of their remarkable story.”

East continued, “I am immensely proud that UNDEFEATED has been honoured tonight as Best Documentary. Congratulations to Spitfire Pictures, as well as our partners, Zipper Bros Films, Level 22 and Five Smooth Stones Productions on this achievement. Following this year’s Grammy win for FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH, this result highlights Exclusive Media’s commitment to making great, award winning films.”
UNDEFEATED world premiered at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival to critical acclaim where it was acquired by The Weinstein Company for US distribution. The film continued to garner further accolades winning the audience award at the Chicago International Film Festival and nominations for Best Documentary Feature at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Houston Film Critics Society and Black Reel Awards.  The film was additionally selected for numerous film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival.

The film was released theatrically on February 17th in select theatres and will continue to expand into more markets in the upcoming weeks. 

Set against the backdrop of an American football season, UNDEFEATED is a coming-of-age vérité documentary film centering on three underprivileged student-athletes from inner-city Memphis and an unexpected volunteer coach who struggles to provide them with the discipline, resources and inspiration they'll need to not only overcome their bleak surroundings, but also to win the first playoff game in their high school's 110-year history.

Spitfire Pictures continues its excellent run this year following its Grammy win Best Long Form Video for FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH.  The documentary film was co-financed by Exclusive Media and RCA Records and produced by Spitfire Pictures in association with Allentown Productions. Sinclair produced the film with (Glen) Zipper and Farinola, with Exclusive Media’s Alex Brunner, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and Jeanne Elfant Festa of Piper Cub Productions as executive producers.

Sinclair also produced the award-winning documentary feature GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD alongside Olivia Harrison and director Martin Scorsese. Produced by Spitfire Pictures with Grove Street Pictures and Sikelia Productions, the film won the 2012 Critics Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature and the National Board of Review named it one of the Top Five Documentaries of 2011.  It was also nominated for a 2012 BAFTA Award.

Exclusive Media is a major force in the production and international distribution arena. Recent production titles include the box office hit THE WOMAN IN BLACK, produced under Exclusive Media’s Hammer banner, starring Daniel Radcliffe currently in theaters nationwide through CBS Films and George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH produced by Smokehouse Pictures and co-produced by Exclusive Media with Cross Creek Pictures.  THE IDES OF MARCH was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Exclusive Media’s current production slate also includes the newly announced CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE? starring Mark Ruffalo and Hailee Steinfeld, Ron Howard’s epic RUSH starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl and produced with production partners Cross Creek Pictures, Revolution Films, Imagine and Working Title; END OF WATCH starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera set for a wide theatrical release through Open Road; SO UNDERCOVER starring Miley Cyrus; SNITCH starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in post-production; THE QUIET ONES to be directed by John Pogue and BONESHAKER to be produced with Cross Creek Pictures.

ABOUT EXCLUSIVE MEDIA
Exclusive Media is a vertically integrated global film entertainment company, founded in May 2008 with the backing of the strategic investment group Cyrte Investments.  Exclusive Media develops, finances, produces, markets and distributes prestige and talent driven commercial and documentary feature films on a global basis.

Exclusive Media is run by a five member Executive Board with Nigel Sinclair as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Guy East as Co-Chairman, Simon Oakes as Vice Chairman and President of Hammer, Marc Schipper as Chief Operating Officer, and Randy Hermann as Chief Financial Officer.  Supporting the Executive Board in both the operational management and strategic expansion of the business is a strong team of highly skilled professionals who have a broad range of complementary experience.

Exclusive Media’s development and production activities operate through three specialist labels: UK based Hammer for genre titles, Spitfire Pictures for documentary features and the flagship label Exclusive Media for all other feature film production.

Exclusive Media’s international sales & distribution division maintains a strong marketing presence and represents the group’s in-house productions plus its growing library of over 550 titles, as well as actively acquiring third party feature films to further strengthen its international distribution slate.

For further information about the company, our slate of films, library and our experienced management team please visit www.exclusivemedia.com


ABOUT SPITFIRE PICTURES
Spitfire Pictures is Exclusive Media's documentary arm, based in Los Angeles. Spitfire has produced several heralded feature documentaries including AMAZING JOURNEY: THE STORY OF THE WHO, the award-winning NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN directed by Martin Scorsese, and THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA, documenting Billy Joel’s historic concerts at Shea Stadium on July 16th and 18, 2008. In 2011, Spitfire produced the Academy Award winning documentary UNDEFEATED which was released through TWC on February 17th, 2012 and Martin Scorsese's acclaimed film GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, winner of the 2012 Critics Choice Award for best documentary feature and nominated for a BAFTA. Spitfire Pictures aims to deliver 2-3 documentaries per year.

ABOUT ZIPPER BROTHERS FILMS (“ZBF”)
ZBF was established in 2009 by Dr. Ralph Zipper as a feature film financing and production entity. 
UNDEFEATED”, which Dr. Zipper financed pursuant to an agreement negotiated by brother Glen Zipper
of Spitfire Pictures, will be the ZBF’s first full-length documentary feature film .  


ABOUT LEVEL 22 PRODUCTIONS
Level 22 Productions, headed by Seth Gordon and Ed Cunningham, was started in 2005 during post- production of the Sundance documentary, "NEW YORK DOLL," which Gordon and Cunningham produced. Level 22 then produced 2007's "THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFULL OF QUARTERS," which was included on several year-end Top 10 lists, including Dennis Harvey's of Variety and Peter Hartlaub's of the San Francisco Chronicle. In a co-production with Firefly Films, Level 22 produced "MAKE BELIEVE," winner of Best Documentary at the 2010 Los Angeles Film festival, which will have a theatrical release in early 2011. Level 22 currently has several non-fiction and scripted projects in development, including the remake of "Kong" with New Line Cinema.
  
ABOUT FIVE SMOOTH STONES PRODUCTIONS  (“FSS”)
FSS is a media production entity headed by Rich Middlemas that is actively engaged in acquiring projects which tell powerful and inspiring stories, including current properties: “THE TOWN THAT CAME A- COURTIN'” by Ronda Rich and “THE WAR PONY” by Dave Hunsaker. “UNDEFEATED” represents the company's first full-length documentary feature film.   




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