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Magnolia Pictures acquires North American rights from Participant to “A Compassionate Spy” (exclusive).

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Source: Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures/Participant

A Compassionate Spy

Magnolia Pictures has picked up North American rights from Participant to A Compassionate Spy, Steve James’s documentary about the controversial American nuclear physicist Ted Hall who passed secrets to the Soviet Union.

At age 18 Harvard graduate Hall became the youngest recruit to the Manhattan Project in the early 1940s. The film is told through the eyes of Joan, Hall’s wife of over 50 years who kept his secret for decades. The couple raised their family under suspicion and were subject to years of surveillance and intimidation from the FBI.

A Compassionate Spy premiered at Venice last year and played at Telluride.Magnolia will release theatrically later this year and Autlook Filmsales is handling international sales in Berlin. Participant presents the Mitten Media/Kartemquin Films production, which was produced by Mark Mitten and Dave Lindorff. Executive producers include Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Tim Horsburgh, and Gordon Quinn.

“I am thrilled to work once again with Magnolia,” said James, whose credits include

HoopDreams and LifeItself . “For a long time, they’ve been one of the classiest distributors of documentaries, and they’re the best possible home for A Compassionate Spy.”“Steve James has delivered another emotional, yet clear-eyed, look at a complex subject,” said Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles. “

A Comppassionate Spy succeeds at telling a larger story in human terms.” David Linde, Participant CEO, said that Ted Hall’s legacy is timely. “

A Comppassionate Spyis an example of how the past is always present, and how the spectres of nuclear war linger in our collective consciousness. Magnolia is a great partner and we are looking forward to working with them again to bring it to audiences.” Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden brokered the deal with Participant’s EVP content strategy & sales Liesl Copland, senior counsel, business & legal affairs Adam Macy, and SVP content strategy & sales Rob Williams, alongside Jason Ishikawa of Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.

Participant’s upcoming feature releases include

BLKNWS (A24), White Bird: A Wonder Story (Lionsgate), Shirley (Netflix) and Out Of My Mind (Disney +). Recent releases include Oscar nominee and Venice Glden Lion winner All The Beauty And The Bloodshed (Neon, HBO Documentary Films), Lowndes County And The Road To Black Power (Greenwich, Peacock); and Descendant (Netflix/Higher Ground).Magnolia’s recent releases include Andrew Bujalski’s Tribeca comedy

There There; Lee Jung-jae’s Cannes espionage action thriller Hunt; and Sierra Pettengill’s documentary Riotsville, USA.Producer Alexander Rodnyansky on building a fresh, high-profile slate since fleeing Russia

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