Original Series “Rake” & “Mr Selfridge” to Debut Alongside Critically Acclaimed Independent Films & Documentaries
TV Premieres to Include Film Festival Award Winners – Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture & Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess
New York, NY — 14 August 2013 — Sundance Channel announced today that it will launch for the first time in Latin America on 17 September on DIRECTV (channel 513).The network will be available in seven countries, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, on Oro — one of DIRECTV’s most widely distributed packages.
In addition, Sundance Channel has announced a wide array of exclusive programming premiering in September to support the launch, including the award-winning provocative drama “Rake” starring Richard Roxburgh and the previously announced series “Mr Selfridge” starring Jeremy Piven.
The network will also premiere a diverse selection of independent films seen at festivals across the globe. This will include the award-winning features Tiny Furniture from Lena Dunham and Computer Chess from Andrew Bujalski. In addition, Sundance Channel will showcase probing, intelligent documentaries throughout the month, including The Matador from Stephen Higgins. Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, the real life fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to front the iconic rock band Journey, will also debut on the network. See below for premiere dates and times.
Bruce Tuchman, President of AMC/Sundance Channel Global, commented, “Sundance Channel will offer distinctive, world renowned programming exclusively to audiences in Latin America. This will include films fresh from the biggest festivals across the globe to high-quality scripted series with bold storytelling and compelling characters. We’re thrilled to partner with DIRECTV, Latin America’s leading pay -TV platform, on this historic launch.”
Bruce Churchill, President of DIRECTV Latin America, said, “At DIRECTV we are very excited to launch Sundance Channel in Latin America. We know the interest that exists in the region for independent films, the label of this channel, and through our service, we want to bring the latest in movies as well as series of quality to the region. We look forward to continue offering the largest and best variety with our content.”
Sundance Channel will be a Spanish language 24-hour linear network featuring a diverse and engaging selection of first run original drama and other iconic programming, award-winning and locally appealing independent films and documentaries. The network will also be airing series from AMC Networks, beginning with “Rectify” later this year and other programming in the future. Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks. Following its launch on DIRECTV Latin America, Sundance Channel will be made available for distribution to pay-TV operators across the region.
About the Series
“Mr Selfridge” — Premiering 18 Sept. at 10pm ART / 9pm CLT / 8pm PET
Created by award-winning writer Andrew Davies (“Little Dorrit”), the 10-episode one-hour series stars Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”) as the flamboyant and visionary American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge. Set in London in 1909, the drama follows Selfridge as he builds the most ambitious and groundbreaking department store the world had ever seen. With an innate understanding of women, pioneering business methods and boundless energy, Selfridge put the sex and seduction into shopping.
The series is based upon the book Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead which is the account of the real life story of Selfridge and his store. Davies and his writing team picked the most intriguing aspects of his real life and used them to create a compelling drama with a rich cast of fictional characters interlinked with Selfridge’s own extraordinary story. “Mr Selfridge” premiered on ITV in the UK in January, where it achieved an impressive average of eight million consolidated viewers, and it has been commissioned for a second season.
“Rake” — Premiering 22 Sept. at 10pm ART / 9pm CLT / 8pm PET
The award-winning drama follows the adventures of Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh), a successful yet self-destructive barrister (also known as a “rake”) who takes on the most controversial cases. At the same time, his personal life is filled with complexities that make his day-to-day survival a thrill and a challenge. Brilliant, iconoclastic and mischievous, Cleaver is one of life's great addicts. Whether it's women, gambling or drugs, he can resist everything except temptation.
Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge), who co-created the series, was awarded with the Most Outstanding Actor trophy at the TV Week Logie Awards, the Australian television industry’s highest honor for actors, for his portrayal of Cleaver Greene. The eight-episode one-hour series features stellar guest cast that includes Rachel Griffiths (“Brothers and Sisters”), Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta) and Sam Neil (Jurassic Park). Season two of “Rake” will premiere on Sundance Channel in 2014.
About the Films
Computer Chess — Premiering 17 Sept. at 10pm ART / 9pm CLT / 8pm PET
Written and directed by Andrew Bujalski, Computer Chess is a critically acclaimed, award-winning existential comedy about the brilliant men who taught machines to play chess – back when the machines seemed clumsy and we seemed smart. Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers circa 1980, Computer Chess transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future. The movie received the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Los Angeles Times critic Betsy Sharkey called the film "genius," and New York Times critic A.O. Scott referred to it as "sneakily brilliant."
Cast: Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins
Tiny Furniture — Premiering 20 Sept. at 10pm ART / 9pm CLT / 8pm PET
Written and directed by Lena Dunham (creator and star of the hit series “Girls”), Tiny Furniture is a coming-of-age romantic comedy that follows 22 year-old Aura (played by Dunham) who returns to her mother’s home in New York’s Tribeca after spending four years studying film theory at a liberal arts college. Funny, self-aware and a little bit spoiled, she is searching for an entry point into life post-college. Aura quickly falls back into her old life since many of her over-privileged high school friends never left home. She soon meets an intriguing filmmaker at a party, while flirting with a co-worker at the restaurant where she finds work as a hostess. Tiny Furniture explores the depths of romantic humiliation and the heights of post-college confusion; the darkest parts of the big city’s bright lights and the newest ways to tell the oldest story in the book. Dunham’s real-life mother and sister appear in the film as her family members. The film won the Jury Award at the SXSW Film Festival and the Independent Vision Award at the Sarasota Film Festival.
Cast: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe, Merritt Wever, Amy Seimetz, Alex Karpovsky, Jemima Kirke
About the Documentaries
The Matador — Premiering 23 Sept. at 8pm ART / 7pm CLT / 6pm PET
Directed and co-produced by Stephen Higgins, The Matador is the epic tale of David Fandila's quest to become the world’s top-ranked bullfighter. Heart-wrenching setbacks and thrilling successes dramatize 'El Fandi's' three-year journey across Spain and Latin America and into the pages of bullfighting history. More than one man’s quest for greatness, The Matador is a story of love – of a son for his family, of audiences for their heroes, of a people for their cultural traditions, and of the bullfighter’s paradoxical love for the majestic beast that he must kill to create his art. As David struggles to achieve his place in the pantheon of Spain's greatest bullfighters, he is confronted by those who question the place of this ancient and brutal ritual in the modern world. Higgins won the 2011 CINE Golden Eagle Award in the documentary category at the CINE Competition.
Cast: Lluis Agusti , Veronica Canete, David Fandila , Trini Fandila, Juan Fandila, Juan Alvaro Fandila, Elvira Lindo, Eduardo Lago
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey – Premiering 30 Sept. at 10pm ART / 9pm CLT / 8pm PET
Journey, the quintessentially American rock band who recorded eight platinum albums during their heyday between 1978 – 1986, was looking for a new lead singer in 2007. Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey follows the real life rock-n-roll fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for the iconic rock band, thereby becoming the latest performer to go from the Internet to real life celebrity. Having already overcome a life full of painful obstacles and now saddled with the immense pressures of leading a world- renowned band and replacing a legendary singer, the film follows Arnel on this personal journey. Written, directed and co-produced by Ramona S. Diaz, the documentary debuted at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. The Huffington Post called it “a thoroughly enjoyable, feel-good documentary that proves dreams can come true if you keep at it long enough.”
Cast: Arnel Pineda, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo
Notes to Editors
Select photos of the programming can be found here:
About Sundance Channel
Dedicated to founder Robert Redford's mission to celebrate creativity, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of high-quality independent films, documentaries and original programs. In addition to being widely distributed throughout North America, Sundance Channel is available throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., Sundance Channel is a highly recognizable and magnetic brand that is available in HD and across multiple platforms.
About AMC Networks Inc.
Dedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The company also operates AMC/Sundance Channel Global, an international programming business, and AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, a full-service network programming origination and distribution company.
DIRECTV (DTV) is the world’s leading provider of digital television entertainment services. DIRECTV provides digital television service to 20.1 million customers in the United States and to 16.3 million customers in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the leading provider of programming, technology and customer service in the industry, DIRECTV Latin America delivers the best television entertainment experience to viewers in the region. For more information visit www.DIRECTVla.com
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