‘The Case Against Adnan Syed’ Documentarian Amy Berg Signs First-Look Deal With Fremantle

The Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker’s Disarming Films will work alongside Fremantle’s Mandy Chang

Jennifer Mullin, Amy Berg and Mandy Chang (Courtesy Fremantle)

Acclaimed documentarian Amy Berg has signed an exclusive first-look agreement with Fremantle.

The Oscar and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker behind projects like “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” “Deliver Us From Evil” and “West of Memphis” will work with Fremantle’s Global Head of Documentaries, Mandy Chang, to create an internationally focused slate of nonfiction films.

Berg’s company, Disarming Films, has been producing long-form documentary features and docuseries for over a decade. “The Case Against Adnan Syed” was released in April of 2019 on HBO, and she is currently working on a special follow-up episode set to premiere in late 2023. Other projects include Netflix’s “We Are: The Brooklyn Saints,” Netflix’s “Dogs” and Freeform’s “Keep This Between Us.” Her latest film, the Evan Rachel Wood-centric doc “Phoenix Rising,” premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and on HBO and HBO Max in March of last year.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Amy on this landmark deal, which further demonstrates Fremantle’s commitment to the documentaries genre and our ambition within it,” Fremantle Global CEO Jennifer Mullin said in a statement. “Amy and her team at Disarming Films share the same passion and ambition to tell compelling and diverse stories from across the globe and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Fremantle is behind documentaries such as “Mrs. America” and “Kim’s Video” which had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. They also produced a new fashion series, “Kingdom of Dreams.” This deal with Berg’s Disarming Films follows Fremantle’s acquisition of majority stakes in several international documentary companies such as 72 Films, Silvio Productions and Wildstar Films. They also recently entered a first-look deal with Reginald Hudlin’s Hudlin Entertainment.

Chang stated, “It is a thrill and an honour having this opportunity to work with Amy, whom I have long admired and respected. She is a hugely regarded and talented filmmaker with a great body of work behind her. I’m excited about the collaborations between Fremantle Documentaries and Amy and the team at Disarming Films. We’re already in discussions about some brilliant projects.”

Berg also shared her own excitement. “We’re delighted to be joining forces with the incredibly talented team at Fremantle,” she added. “Led by Mandy, we know Fremantle will not only offer fantastic support, and creative freedom, their extensive international infrastructure and expertise will provide Disarming Films with the platform to have our work seen around the world.”