Werner Herzog’s ‘Meeting Gorbachev’ Acquired by The Orchard for Early 2019 Release

Documentary co-directed by André Singer premiered at Telluride earlier this year

The Orchard has acquired the North American distribution rights to “Meeting Gorbachev,” the documentary about former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which will be co-directed by Werner Herzog, the company announced Friday.

The Orchard is planning a theatrical release for early 2019, while HISTORY retains all television rights for the documentary.

Directed by Herzog and André Singer for Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film, “Meeting Gorbachev” conducts behind-the-scenes memoirs from Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union and one of the world’s most established politicians of the 20th century. Herzog interviewed Gorbachev on three separate occasions across a six-month period, each time capturing a look into Gorbachev’s career and his commitment to peace.

The documentary is produced by Lucki Stipetic and Svetlana Palmer. The executive producers are Richard Melman for Spring Films, and Molly Thompson and Eli Lehrer for HISTORY Films.  The film premiered at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival and subsequently played at TIFF.

“‘Meeting Gorbachev’ is an enthralling look back at a fascinating leader and diplomat, all the more impactful based on what the world looks like today,” Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s EVP of Film and Television, said. “Werner and Andre’s own sensibilities make the film engaging and personal in a way no other filmmakers could.”

“Meeting Gorbachev” marks The Orchard’s third collaboration with A+E Networks, the parent company of A&E IndieFilms and HISTORY Films. It follows Oscar-nominated films “Cartel Land” and “Life, Animated.”

The legendary German director Herzog’s next film in 2019 is a documentary called “Fireball,” and he’s also announced an adaptation of the book “Fordlandia.”

The Orchard is behind the recent release of Luis Ortega’s “El Angel,” Argentina’s official Oscars Submission for 2019.  Upcoming releases include Karen Gillan’s directorial debut “The Party’s Just Beginning,” Cristina Gallegos and Ciro Guerra’s Colombian crime drama “Birds of Passage” and Kim Nguyen’s modern epic “The Hummingbird Project” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Salma Hayek and Alexander Skarsgård.

The deal was negotiated by The Orchard’s VP of Acquisitions Danielle DiGiacomo and Josh Braun and Matt Burke of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.