It was bound to happen sooner than later that someone would want to make a documentary about the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
While Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War) have already announced they’re making a doc about the open secret of sexual assault in Hollywood, BBC has announced they’re making the “definitive” account of the Weinstein story, including the recent scandal, with a feature-length documentary from Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man) and his company Lightbox. The film will be directed by Ursula MacFarlane (Charlie Hebdo: Three Days That Shook Paris).
The 90-minute doc, simply called Weinstein, will feature interviews with the female actors who have accused Weinstein of misconduct as well as journalists, filmmakers, agents and lawyers involved in the scandal. Although no names have been revealed in terms of who might be interviewed, Lightbox says that some people would be speaking publically for the first time.
This documentary will air on BBC Two — commissioned by BBC’s Head of Natural History and Specialist Factual Commissioning Tom McDonald, BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland and Commissioning Editor Simon Young — but the studio is also planning a theatrical release to quality for Oscars and the BAFTA award.
Lightbox creators Simon and Jonathan Chinn previously produced the Oscar-winning docs Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man, and Variety spoke with Simon about his interest in the story and told them: “As a little bit of an [industry] insider, I was fascinated with the story as it unfolded and not a little shocked. As much as people knew a lot about Harvey and his reputation, there was plenty that we didn’t know. As the story evolved, we started to think about the industry as a whole and the culture and complicity of the industry, and the question of how Harvey got away with that level of alleged behavior and…whether we are looking at a real watershed moment.”
Chinn also told Variety that Lightbox has uncovered new aspects of the story, as authorities both in the U.S. and U.K. continue to investigate criminal allegations against the fallen filmmaking mogul, who will be given a chance to participate in the film.
Patrick Holland, BBC Two’s controller, also gave a statement on the project: “The breaking of silence over Harvey Weinstein is a watershed moment for the creative industries and for wider society. Ursula is a brilliant filmmaker and is perfectly placed to make the definitive documentary, piecing together the story of just how he abused his power and position.”
Weinstein might not be the first doc about the scandal to screen since there are other projects that have already started production, but BBC hopes to give the film a festival release before its award-qualifying theatrical release with Drive handling international pre-sales.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor