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Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media Partner to Acquire U.S. Rights for ‘Thru You Princess’

New York, NY (November 10, 2015) – Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media announced today the co-acquisition of all U.S. rights to THRU YOU PRINCESS, a new documentary directed by Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar. An uplifting and moving crowd-pleaser that celebrates discovery and connectivity in the YouTube generation, THRU YOU PRINCESS premiered to critical and audience acclaim at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media most recently co-acquired and collaborated on the critically acclaimed documentary BEST OF ENEMIES.

THRU YOU PRINCESS follows 38-year-old Samantha Montgomery, a woman who lives alone in one of New Orleans’ toughest neighborhoods. By day, she works as a caregiver for the elderly; at night she transforms into Princess Shaw, belting out soulful originals at sparsely attended open mic nights and posting homemade a cappella clips on YouTube, usually reaching just a handful of viewers. One of her followers happens to be Kutiman, a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician living on a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv, who mashes up YouTube videos from all over the world to create new musical pieces. Princess Shaw has no idea that he has found hers.  

Magnolia is targeting 2016 for theatrical release for THRU YOU PRINCESS.

“Ido Haar’s relevant and inspirational film is a real-life Cinderella story, and Princess Shaw is a phenomenal discovery,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Participant is the perfect partner to help share this film with U.S. audiences.”

Diane Weyermann, EVP of Documentary Films at Participant Media commented, “THRU YOU PRINCESS is an awe-inspiring film – it is timely, introspective, and has a huge heart.  We are really proud to bring this unique 21st-century documentary out with our friends at Magnolia.” 

“When an extraordinary artist recognizes another from across the world, and their talents come together, it brings the idea of collaboration and creativity to a whole new level,” said Ido Haar director of THRU YOU PRINCESS. “I’m thrilled that Magnolia and Participant are bringing this story of optimism and generosity to audiences in the U.S.”

Directed by Ido Haar, THRU YOU PRINCESS was produced by Liran Atzmor of THE LAW IN THESE PARTS, which won the 2013 Sundance World Cinema Best Documentary as well as a Peabody award, and co-producer Stephen Apkon of Reconsider, a producer of Ido Haar’s previous film ENLISTMENT DAYS.  The film was executive produced by Esther van Messel and Gitte Hansen for First Hand Films.

THRU YOU PRINCESS was produced for YesDocu, with the support of the New Israeli Fund for Cinema, The Israel Lottery Council for Culture and Arts, Sundance Fund, Cinereach, and The Israeli Film Council of the Ministry Culture and Sport, and with the endorsement of IDFA DocLab and Forum, Co Pro Documentary Marketing Foundation and American Independent Filmmaker Project. The film was co-produced with France 4 Television, CBC Canada, SVT of Sweden and VPRO of The Netherlands and is represented internationally by First Hand Films.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Magnolia VP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, EVP Business and Legal Affairs Gabriel Brakin of Participant Media, and Josh Braun of Submarine and Esther van Messel of First Hand Films on behalf of the filmmakers.



Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain and AXS TV. Recent releases include Swedish Oscar selection and Golden Globe nominee FORCE MAJEURE, acclaimed documentary IRIS from Albert Maysles, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner THE WOLFPACK, Buckley vs. Vidal doc BEST OF ENEMIES from Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon, Sean Baker’s TANGERINE, Alex Gibney’s STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE, Andrew Bujalski’s RESULTS, Michael Almereyda’s Stanley Milgram biopic EXPERIMENTER, and Roy Andersson’s A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE. Upcoming releases include Arnaud Desplechin’s MY GOLDEN DAYS, Terence Davies’ SUNSET SONG, Rick Alverson’s ENTERTAINMENT, Tobias Lindholm’s A WAR, adventure thriller THE WAVE, and many more.



Participant Media (http://www.participantmedia.com/) is a leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires and compels social change. Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for viewers to get involved. Participant’s more than 65 films include LincolnContagionThe HelpThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Food, Inc., Waiting For “Superman,” CITIZENFOUR and An Inconvenient Truth. Participant has also launched more than a dozen original series, including “Please Like Me,” “Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” and “Fortitude,” for its television network, Pivot (http://www.pivot.tv/). Participant’s digital hub, TakePart (http://www.TakePart.com), serves millions of socially conscious consumers each month with daily articles, videos and opportunities to take action. Follow Participant Media on Twitter at @Participant and on Facebook



George Nicholis

Magnolia Pictures