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Goldcrest offers three docs at Sundance

EXCLUSIVE: World premieres include Sebastian Junger’s Tim Hetherington documentary [pictured]; company talks about its ‘comeback.’

Underlying its growing strength in the feature documentary arena, Goldcrest has confirmed that it will have three docs premiering in Sundance 2013.

Sebastian Junger’s Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life And Time Of Tim Hetherington is a world premiere out of competition. Produced by Goldcrest’s Nick Quested, the film profiles photographer Tim Hetherington (who was killed in Libya not long after the release of his doc Restrepo.)

Goldcrest is promising some Pussy Riot stunts in Park City to accompany the screening of Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, directed and produced by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdrovokin, A world premiere in Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Competition, the film uncovers the real story of the trial of the three Pussy Riot members who were faced with prison sentences after giving a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral.

Also new to the Goldcrest slate is Jehane Noujaim’s The Square. Likewise a world premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition, the film follows the Egyptian revolution in the days leading up to the fall of Mubarak, the euphoria that greeted Mubarak’s departure and the uncertainty that followed.

Following their launches in Sundance, the three films will also screen in Berlin’s European Film Market.

The launch of the new feature documentaries comes as Goldcrest Films International, under new Managing Director Pascal Degove (ex-Head of International at EuropaCorp) begins to ramp up. Degove is working in tandem with recently launched Goldcrest TV, run by Christina Willoughby, the ex-boss of Channel 4 International.

“We are passionate about those documentaries. We are really aiming higher than the TV market,” Degove commented of the ambitions for Goldcrest’s fast growing slate of docs which also includes Havana Marking’s Smash and Grab - The Story Of The Pink Panthers and Beth Murphy’s The List.

“What we are trying to do is be a one-stop shop for filmmakers from financing to sales to production and post-production,” Degove said of the overall strategy at Goldcrest.

By Berlin, Degove aims to have “one or two” dramatic features also on the slate.

The aim is to back projects with budgets up to $15 million. Degove said that Goldcrest is also “looking to the library” to explore the possibility of remakes.

From its glory days in the 1980s, Goldcrest has a back catalogue including such titles as Gandhi, The Killing Fields, The Missionand Chariots Of Fire. It also has a financing arm, Goldcrest Pictures and Goldcrest Capital Partners, which has invested in several high-profile projects, among them Twilight and The Iron Lady.

Meanwhile, its post-production operation Goldcrest Post continues to work on both studio and independent films. The company also backed Donald Rice’s 1930s set romantic drama Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, which was sold to Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPIE)

“It (Goldcrest) is a great launch pad,” Willoughby commented. “British producers as well as American producers or even French producers who come and use the post-production facilities have always been happy with the care and attention to detail that part of the company offers. With the raising of finance that Robert Jolliffe runs, the post-production, the international exploitation that already exists with the infrastructure of royalty reporting, sales and marketing, it does become a one-stop shop.”

Since the 1980s, the company has remained active in international sales and post-production and has also occasionally ventured back into production. Now, Goldcrest Films International’s principals are promising, the company is set to expand further. “It should be the big comeback!” Willoughby said.

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