Documentary Market Shudders as Participant Media Shuts: ‘Docs Are So Dead’

Available to WrapPRO members

“Participant was so good at bringing a doc into the world in a high-impact way,” director Julie Cohen said

"The Cove," "An Inconvenient Truth," Edward Snowden from "Citizen 4," documentaries produced by Participant. (Chris Smith/TheWrap)
"The Cove," "An Inconvenient Truth," Edward Snowden from "Citizen 4," documentaries produced by Participant. (Chris Smith/TheWrap)

At a time when mature films are hard to find outside of arthouse theaters, the news Tuesday that Participant Media has shut down after 20 years in Hollywood was a crushing blow for many movie lovers. But for the documentary market, it may be even worse.

“There are other places to go to get a social impact doc funded…but Participant was so good at bringing a doc into the world in a big high impact way,” award-winning director Julie Cohen told TheWrap.

Cohen should know. Participant was a co-producer on two documentaries she co-directed with Betsy West: “RBG,” the 2018 Oscar-nominated doc on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the 2021 doc “My Name is Pauli Murray,” about the lawyer and activist who served as one of Ginsburg’s greatest influences.

Comments

2 responses to “Documentary Market Shudders as Participant Media Shuts: ‘Docs Are So Dead’”

  1. Gregoria Cummings Avatar

    Love how you connect with your readers, feels very personal.

  2. Free Vitamins Avatar

    Yes yes yes! Getting my hands on new stuff thanks to freebies has been a
    real treat. So excited to see what’s coming my way.
    And yeah, it gives me a leg up in deciding before I splurge.
    Absolutely a no-brainer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.