New York-based distributor A24 has acquired the worldwide rights to Warwick Thornton’s The Beach, with the docuseries to have its global premiere on the company’s virtual platform later this month.
Set in Jilirr on Western Australia’s Dampier Peninsula, the six-part series follows the Sweet Country and Samson and Delilah writer-director as he hunts and gathers food, prepares dishes, and talks to three chickens, while relating stories from his childhood and adult life.
After being shot by Thornton’s son Dylan River across May and June of 2019 with the support of Screen Australia and NITV, The Beach premiered on NITV, SBS, and SBS On Demand in May 2020.
The project, which was produced by Michelle Parker, Mitchell Stanley, and Tanith Glynn-Maloney, and executive produced by Ben Nott, will now reach audiences internationally via a week-long run in the A24 Screening Room, an online portal that offers a “new kind of sensory viewing experience”.
The deal was negotiated via Bec Smith at United Talent Agency.
Nott, who is the founder of production company World Wide Mind, told IF the series was well suited to the A24 platform, not only in terms of audience but also for the way it was being released.
“The Beach is being released on the US holiday of Thanksgiving,” he said.
“It’s a day that people here often want to kick back, relax and watch something special with family.
“Also, A24 is releasing the series in a new way, where they are allowing viewers to watch the series as much as they want for a whole week.
“This has the potential to add more viewer understanding of the experience Warwick has in the series.”
When Screen Australia included The Beach as one of seven documentary projects to receive funding in April 2019, Thornton described it as one of the most important projects of his life.
“It’s about my life. It is my life,” he said.
The Beach will screen on a continual loop at the A24 Screening Room from November 22-29.