In advance of the film’s world premiere this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, rights to the new documentary “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble” have been acquired by The Orchard and HBO.
The Orchard has acquired all worldwide rights of the Tremolo production with the exception of U.S. domestic television rights, which HBO has acquired from Participant Media and The Silk Road Project. The Orchard is planning a theatrical release in the spring of 2016 with an HBO premiere to follow.
From Morgan Neville, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” and the critically-acclaimed “Best of Enemies,” “The Music of Strangers” tells the story of an international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The film follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.
“The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble” was produced by Neville and Caitrin Rogers of Tremolo Productions, in association with Participant Media and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Pershing Square Foundation and the Ford Foundation JustFilms. The film’s executive producers include Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann, HBO’s Sheila Nevins and Motto Pictures’ Julie Goldman, as well as The Silk Road Project’s Laura Freid and co-executive producer Cristin Canterbury Bagnall.
“‘The Music of Strangers’ represents an exciting opportunity for us to work closely with who we consider to be the triple-threat of documentary powerhouses — Morgan, Participant and HBO,” said Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s SVP of film and TV. “Morgan’s film is an inspiring and soulful experience we are proud to be a part of.”
“What could be better than being involved in a film that erases differences in the name of music,” said Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films.
“‘Music of Strangers’ is a film about the many ways music brings people together. We are thrilled that HBO and The Orchard are joining us to share this story with the world,” added Neville.
“Morgan Neville traveled across three continents to tell the amazing stories of Yo-Yo Ma and these talented ensemble members. We are grateful that his remarkable storytelling so powerfully portrays the ways music, art and culture can connect us to the unfamiliar and create positive change. We can’t wait to share this with audiences near and far,” said Laura Freid, CEO of Silkroad.
“Participant is delighted to have such an incredible team on board to deliver Morgan Neville‘s outstanding film to audiences in theaters and at home: The Orchard — who we are excited to collaborate with for the first time, and HBO — who we’ve successfully teamed with on ‘3 1/2 Minutes,’ ’10 Bullets,’ as well as this year’s Oscar-winner ‘Citizenfour,’ added Diane Weyermann, Participant’s EVP of documentary films.
The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo for The Orchard, Gabe Brakin for Participant Media and Josh Braun of Submarine, who also negotiated the deal with HBO.