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BMG, Fremantle Documentaries, and Warner Music Entertainment Announce Newest Feature Film "Devo"
- Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2023
First-Ever Full-Length Feature Documentary on The Band To Be Produced by Vice Studios and Library Films
BMG, Fremantle Documentaries, and Warner Music Entertainment (WME) are proud to announce their first collaborative feature film DEVO. The upcoming full-length documentary will also be the first-ever fully authorized film on the New Wave/Rock group. Bertelsmann companies BMG and Fremantle Documentaries, and WME are executive producers and financiers of the film, with all rights available worldwide.
Produced by VICE Studios and Library Films in association with Mutato Entertainment, DEVO is directed by Chris Smith ("Sr.", American Movie, Fyre, Tiger King, 100 Foot Wave) and produced by Anita Greenspan and Chris Holmes for Mutato Entertainment. Executive producers are William Kennedy, Stuart Souter, and Kathy Rivkin Daum for BMG, Mandy Chang (Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Writing With Fire, The Fourth Estate, Welcome to Chechnya) for Fremantle Documentaries, and at Warner Music Group, Charlie Cohen for WME and Mark Pinkus for Rhino Entertainment.
Currently in production, DEVO chronicles the story of the band Devo, from their formation in the aftermath of the Kent State massacre, through their years as politically driven outsiders, into their surprising turn to the top of the charts with their breakout hit, "Whip It."
Forming in 1973, Devo banded together initially as performance artists, disillusioned and radicalized by the shooting at Kent State where they were students. Their artistry was a commentary on corruption in the United States, the perceived "dumbing down" of an entire generation by mass media, and the commodification of a poisoned society.
With a mixture of archival footage, interviews from other characters in their orbit and a range of storytelling techniques the film's inventive narrative will parallel the revolutionary creativity the band is known for. Ultimately, DEVO explores Devo's evolution from hippie artistes to art-rockers with a message, to their unexpected mainstream success as a hit rock band and the pioneers of the MTV age.
Director Chris Smith comments, "DEVO was a huge influence on me. Their approach to music, film, video and art was something I had never seen before and was one of the truly formative artistic influences that showed me there were entirely new ways to look at things."
BMG's recent films include the highest grossing documentary film of 2022, Moonage Daydream (HBO Max); DIO: Dreamers Never Die (Showtime), and two upcoming feature length documentaries including one on award-winning singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi: How I'm Feeling Now (Netflix); and Sundance selection Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis), distributed by Utopia and helmed by acclaimed filmmaker Anton Corbijn.
Fremantle Documentaries is behind premium feature documentaries Mrs. America (Fremantle, Anonymous Content, Spinning Nancy), Kim's Video (Fremantle, Carnivalesque Films) which had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January and fashion series Kingdom of Dreams from Misfits Entertainment, the team behind McQueen.
Warner Music Entertainment's latest projects include Love, Lizzo (HBO Max), American Masters: Roberta Flack (PBS), and Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers (YouTube Originals).
BMG – est. 2008 – is the world's fourth-biggest music company, the first new global player in the music business of the streaming age, and a record label and music publisher in one. Named in 2020 one of the world's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, BMG's pitch is unique – a relentless focus on fairness and transparency and service to its artist and songwriter clients. BMG's 22 offices across 12 core music markets now represent over three million songs and recordings, including many of the most renowned and successful catalogs in popular music history. BMG's fresh approach includes production music, films, books, artist management, merchandise, neighboring rights, and live as well as music publishing and recordings off the same service platform. BMG is owned by international media, services and education company Bertelsmann, whose other content businesses include the entertainment company RTL Group and the trade book publisher Penguin Random House. With its multi-platform perspective, integrated technology platform and commitment to help artists maximize their income, BMG aims to be the best company in music to do business with. www.bmg.com
Fremantle is one of the world's largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of Entertainment, Drama & Film and Documentaries.
Operating in 27 territories we are a proudly independent group of content creators. We produce and deliver high-quality multi-genre IP including some of the biggest entertainment formats, most watched international dramas, award winning films and hard-hitting documentaries, amplifying local stories on a global scale.
From Idols to The Mosquito Coast, The Price is Right to The Hand of God, The Farmer Wants A Wife to Arctic Drift, Family Feud to My Brilliant Friend and Bones & All to Planet Sex our focus is simple – we create and deliver irresistible entertainment.
We are also a world leader in digital and branded entertainment with more than 470 million fans across 2,000 social channels and over 34 billion views per year across all platforms.
Fremantle is part of RTL Group, a global leader across broadcast, content and digital, itself a division of the international media giant Bertelsmann.
For more information, please visit www.fremantle.com, follow us on Twitter @FremantleHQ and Instagram @fremantle or visit our LinkedIn page.
About Warner Music Entertainment
Warner Music Entertainment (WME), the television, film, and theatre division of Warner Music Group, is passionately devoted to music-driven storytelling through the creation, development, and acquisition of compelling original visual content. Since its inception in 2017, WME has produced a variety of acclaimed long-form television series, films, and documentaries, including David Byrne's 6x Emmy®-nominated HBO special, American Utopia; National Geographic's 3x Emmy®-nominated Genius: Aretha; the 3x Emmy®-nominated Epix two-part docuseries, Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time; and many others. With deep connections across the entertainment industry, WME also partners with leading production companies, such as Imagine Entertainment, Lightbox, and SK Global, to co-produce, co-develop, and co-finance various film and television projects, both long and short form.
About VICE Studios
VICE Studios is a global production arm of VICE Media Group, delivering premium original programming across documentary, and unscripted series. With development and production teams in the USA, Canada, UK, Asia and Latin America, VICE Studios cuts through culture, delivering stories that are popular, human and spotlight the unexpected for audiences around the world.
Launched in 2017, VICE Studios original productions include Superpower the feature length documentary film with Sean Penn and Ukrainian President Zelensky; three-time Academy Award® nominated feature 'FLEE', Chris Smith's Emmy®-nominated Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond and Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened (Netflix); Flight MH370: The Vanishing (Paramount+) Diego Osorno's documentary film 1994 (Netflix), multi series franchise Dark Side of the Ring (VICE TV), and The Satanic Verses: 30 years on (BBC).
Warner Music Entertainment