Greenwich Entertainment Acquires Barbara Kopple Docu ‘Desert One’ From History

EXCLUSIVE: Greenwich Entertainment has acquired the North American theatrical and select home entertainment rights for Erica Kopple’s documentary Desert One. Greenwich will release Desert One on a to-be-determined date followed by a broadcast on History.

The docu from the two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker, which debuted at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, revisits April 1980 when the military participated in a rescue operation known as Operation Eagle Claw, whee they rescued 52 U.S. citizens who were taken hostage by Iranian revolutionaries in Tehran.  Desert One features interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, ABC Nightline journalist Ted Koppel, former hostages, journalists and Iranian student revolutionaries who orchestrated the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. Animations will present never before heard satellite phone recordings of President Carter talking to his generals as the mission unfolds as it will take viewers deep into the historic operation.

The film also presents Iranian perspectives on this important moment in their history. A female Iranian crew filmed overlooked accounts inside that country, one from a man who had been an 11-year-old boy riding a bus through the desert on the night of the mission.

“Barbara Kopple is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers of our time, and we are thrilled to partner with Greenwich Entertainment to give Desert One a theatrical release,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General manager of History. “The film is an emotional and compelling look at a story that is not widely known, but has had a lasting impact on US foreign policy in the Middle East.”

“This was a roller coaster ride of a story well worth telling,” said Kopple, “with important moments about American leadership and gumption and relations with Iran and courage in the face of adversity. I believe it’s a film that could help inspire us in our troubled times. We need a lot of inspiration right now.”

In addition, to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw, Cabin Creek Films, History and Greenwich Films are holding a virtual screening of Desert One for members of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) community.

Desert One is produced by Cabin Creek Films. Kopple is producer and director. David Cassidy and Eric Forman are producers for Cabin Creek Films. Eli Lehrer and Zachary Behr are Executive Producers for History. Cinetic Media negotiated the deal for Greenwich Entertainment.


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