It was announced today that Discovery Communications’ Animal Planet and Lionsgate have partnered to acquire the rights in the U.S., Canada and the UK to the documentary film sensation MILLION DOLLAR DUCK.
The two companies made the official announcement earlier today. Animal Planet has acquired television rights to the film while Lionsgate will distribute MILLION DOLLAR DUCK on a limited basis theatrically and on digital home entertainment and packaged media.
The film was directed by Brian Golden Davis and held it’s world premiere on Sunday at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and will air on Animal Planet in the fall following its theatrical run.
MILLION DOLLAR DUCK dives into the wonderfully eccentric world of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest—the only juried art competition run by the U.S. government. The Duck Stamp is among the most successful conservation tools ever created, simultaneously spawning a uniquely American subculture brimming with talent, ego, art, controversy, big money, and migratory waterfowl. Following six wildlife artists striving to win “the Olympics of wildlife art,” MILLION DOLLAR DUCK brings to life the high tension competition as one by one each is eliminated, leaving a winner whose life will be changed forever.
“From the moment I saw MILLION DOLLAR DUCK, I knew Animal Planet would be the perfect home for this heartfelt and humorous film,” said Rich Ross, Group President of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. “Showcasing this film brings to light this special program that supports wetlands conservation and aligns with our network’s goal to activate people on animal welfare concerns.”
“We’re proud to extend our strategic partnership with Discovery on this terrific film,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “Poignant, quirky, hilarious and tremendously engaging, MILLION DOLLAR DUCK is the perfect property to kick off our alliance with Discovery on documentary films and other long-form content that creates tremendous opportunities for both our companies.”
“Some of the greatest docs ever made have been about either sub-cultures or competitions,” added John Hoffman, EVP Documentaries and Specials Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel. “Brian has brought these two genres together in a perfect way that makes us laugh and care. He’s made wildlife artists into superstars.”
“I’m thrilled to have The Million Dollar Duck find a home with Animal Planet and Lionsgate,” said Golden Davis. “I made this film because I wanted to explore the quirky world of The Federal Duck Stamp Contest, where the artists were motivated by their sheer love of nature and conservation, and I can’t think of better platforms to help share our ‘duck tale’ with the world than Animal Planet and Lionsgate.”
The deal was negotiated by John Hoffman and Ryan Harrington on behalf of Discovery Communications, EVP Theatrical Acquisitions & Co-Productions Eda Kowan and acquisitions executive Lauren Freeman for Lionsgate and Abby Davis and Adam Galen of Preferred Content on behalf of the filmmakers.
MILLION DOLLAR DUCK is directed by Brian Golden Davis and executive produced by multiple Academy Award winning filmmaker Mark Jonathan Harris and Richard Prager. The editor is Derek Boonstra, the cinematographer is Christian Bruno and Laura Young Lee and Kye Woo Lee are co-producers.
The partnership on Million Dollar Duck is the latest in Discovery’s expanding relationship with Lionsgate. Discovery and Liberty Global invested in Lionsgate in November 2015, and Lionsgate and Discovery have also announced a home entertainment distribution agreement under which Lionsgate distributes Discovery programming on packaged media platforms in the U.S.