Television

Animal Planet & Lionsgate acquire rights to 'Million Dollar Duck'

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MUMBAI: Discovery Communications' Animal Planet and Lionsgate have partnered to acquire the rights in the US, Canada and the UK to the documentary film sensation Million Dollar Duck.

Animal Planet has acquired television rights to the film while Lionsgate will distribute Million Dollar Duck on a limited basis theatrically and on digital home entertainment and packaged media.

Directed by Brian Golden Davis, the film had its world premiere recently at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and will air on Animal Planet in the fall following its theatrical run. 

Million Dollar Duck dives into the wonderfully eccentric world of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest—the only juried art competition run by the US government. The Duck Stamp is among the most successful conservation tools ever created, simultaneously spawning a uniquely American subculture brimming with talent, ego, art, controversy, big money, and migratory waterfowl. Following six wildlife artists striving to win "the Olympics of wildlife art," Million Dollar Duck brings to life the high tension competition as one by one each is eliminated, leaving a winner whose life will be changed forever.

"From the moment I saw Million Dollar Duck, I knew Animal Planet would be the perfect home for this heartfelt and humorous film. Showcasing this film brings to light this special program that supports wetlands conservation and aligns with our network's goal to activate people on animal welfare concerns," said Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel group president Rich Ross.

"We're proud to extend our strategic partnership with Discovery on this terrific film. Poignant, quirky, hilarious and tremendously engaging, Million Dollar Duck is the perfect property to kick off our alliance with Discovery on documentary films and other long-form content that creates tremendous opportunities for both our companies," added Lionsgate president of worldwide television & digital distribution Jim Packer.

"I'm thrilled to have Million Dollar Duck find a home with Animal Planet and Lionsgate," said Golden Davis. "I made this film because I wanted to explore the quirky world of The Federal Duck Stamp Contest, where the artists were motivated by their sheer love of nature and conservation, and I can't think of better platforms to help share our 'duck tale' with the world than Animal Planet and Lionsgate.”

The deal was negotiated by John Hoffman and Ryan Harrington on behalf of Discovery Communications, EVP theatrical acquisitions & co-productions Eda Kowan and acquisitions executive Lauren Freeman for Lionsgate and Abby Davis and Adam Galen of Preferred Content on behalf of the filmmakers.

Million Dollar Duck is executive produced by multiple Academy Award winning filmmaker Mark Jonathan Harris and Richard Prager. The editor is Derek Boonstra, the cinematographer is Christian Bruno and Laura Young Lee and Kye Woo Lee are co-producers.

The partnership on Million Dollar Duck is the latest in Discovery's expanding relationship with Lionsgate. Discovery and Liberty Global invested in Lionsgate in November 2015, and Lionsgate and Discovery have also announced a home entertainment distribution agreement under which Lionsgate distributes Discovery programming on packaged media platforms in the US.

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