Toronto: ‘Citizen Jane’ Sells Key Foreign Territories

“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” has sold several key international territories after screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, Variety has learned.

The documentary is Matt Tyrnauer’s follow-up to 2008’s “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” a look at designer Valentino Garavani. His new project trades the world of high fashion for urban politics, chronicling the battle between activist Jane Jacobs and power broker Robert Moses in the 1960s over plans to construct a roadway through the heart of Greenwich Village. The film isn’t just a look at that the contentious chapter in New York politics, it is also a meditation on community organizing and the pull and passions of major metropolises.

As part of the deals, Madman Entertainment has acquired all rights in Australia and New Zealand; NonStop Entertainment has nabbed all rights in pan-Scandinavia, Baltics, Iceland and Benelux; and Dogwoof has landed U.K. distribution rights and the right to represent foreign rights in all other territories, excluding North America. A domestic deal will be announced shortly.

The deals were negotiated by David Koh and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the producers and director, along with Anna Godas, CEO of Dogwoof; Paul Wiegard, managing director of Madman Entertainment; and Jakob Abrahamsson, CEO of NonStop Entertainment.

Tyrnauer also produced the film with Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of New York City’s Friends of the High Line, and Corey Reeser. Pierre Lagrange, Bernard Lagrange, and Juliet Page are the executive producers.

In a statement Tyrnauer said he was heartened from the response to the film by buyers and audiences in Toronto.

“I am especially happy that the message of the film as well as its story and characters are seen by distributors as resonating for a global audience in a theatrical setting,” he said. “To have so many worldwide theatrical deals in place is a signal to us that the message of Jane Jacobs and the broad topics of the film concerning urbanization and the importance of activism to make better cities is a universal concern, and that we have managed tackle a global subject in an accessible way.”

In addition to directing, Tyrnauer is a Vanity Fair contributor, writing stories on a range of topics, from Gore Vidal’s years on the Amalfi Coast to the influence of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

c/o Brent Lang | Variety