Participant Productions, aproduction company formed in Jan by former eBay president Jeff Skoll to make sociallyrelevant films and documentaries, has formed a partnership with Warner BrosPictures to co-finance two Warner 2005 movies
Participant'smandate is to back projects which centre on "important social issues thatawaken, inspire and empower their audiences to make a difference." Syriana, written and directed by Stephen Gaghan (Abandon), is inspired by Robert Baer's non-fictionbestseller "See No Evil: The True Story Of A Ground Soldier In The CIA's War OnTerrorism" and revolves around the international oil trade and the politicalfuture of the Middle East. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright andAmanda Peet star, Steven Soderbergh, Clooney and Michael Nozik are theproducers. The film is currently in production.
ClassAction is inspired by "Class Action:The Story Of Lois Jenson And The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual HarassmentLaw" by Claire Bingham and Laura Leedy Gansler and follows a group of femalemine workers who file suit against the men who are sexually harassing them.Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand star under director Niki Caro. MichaelSeitzman wrote the screenplay for the film which is scheduled to go intoproduction in early 2005.
"We are passionate aboutilluminating the need for positive change in the world through popular media,which reaches the widest possible audience," said Skoll in a statement. "Thesetwo movies are being made with some of entertainment's most prestigious talentand tell riveting stories about issues we currently face on both large andintimate scales. We are proud andpleased to have the opportunity to partner with Warner Bros. on theseproductions."
"Warner Bros. Picturesreleases a varied and extensive slate of movies every year, some of which aregreat stories driven by important social issues," said studio chief Alan Horn."We are proud to be making Syrianaand Class Action, two of thesetypes of films, for release in the coming year, and extremely pleased to bepartnered with Participant Productions on the financing of these movies. We appreciate what Jeff and ParticipantProductions are doing by supporting the creative process."