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Apple Sets First-Look Deal With Imagine’s Documentary Arm

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s company to produce non-fiction TV and films for tech giant

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has signed a first-look deal with Apple.

The pact will see the company’s non-fiction arm develop projects for both film and TV.

The move continues Apple’s push into original content over the last 18 months, and signals that non-fiction programming could be an important part of that. In September, Apple acquired the global rights to the documentary feature film “The Elephant Queen,” directed by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning wildlife documentarians Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble.

Imagine has also been making a push into the documentary space in recent years, with the Howard-directed “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — the Touring Year,” in addition to “Jay Z’s Made in America,” “Katy Perry: Part of Me” and “Inside Deep Throat.” The company is currently producing the docuseries “She The People” with Sarah Jones, and the documentary “Dads,” with Bryce Dallas Howard directing.

Imagine also produced the Ron Howard directed documentary Pavarotti about opera great Luciano Pavarotti, to be released worldwide in 2019.

In September, Imagine brought in Emmy and Peabody-winning producer Sara Bernstein over from HBO to serve as the division’s new executive vice president. Bernstein spent 19 years at HBO as a senior vice president at HBO Documentary Films, responsible for overseeing various award-winning documentary films and nonfiction programming for the network. Before that, the company grabbed RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head up the division as president.