Director Adam Benzine, Oscar-nominated in the best documentary short subject category in 2016 for “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,” is launching COVID-19 documentary “The Curve” to buyers at the Toronto International Film Festival market.
Structured as an investigative thriller and made in secret over the last six months, the documentary — also produced by Benzine via his Jet Black Iris Productions — examines the decisions around the pandemic made by America’s leaders from mid-January to mid-April, which led to the current scenario.
The film combines original interviews with creatively treated archival footage, and features interviews with experts including Dr. Ali Khan, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response; Dr. Emily Landon, chief infectious-disease epidemiologist at University of Chicago Medicine; Sonya Shah, investigative journalist and author of “Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond”; Ilan Goldenberg, former U.S. State Department advisor; Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council; and Ed Yong, science writer at The Atlantic.
Benzine, a journalist who has also previously contributed to Variety, said: “My hope is that ‘The Curve’ will be for COVID-19 what ‘Inside Job’ was for the housing market collapse. With the U.S. death toll nearing 200,000, Americans are understandably furious. They are demanding to know how this could have happened. And using meticulous research, in-depth context, creatively treated archival and expert first-person testimony, we reveal just that.”
The film features music by Joel Goodman, Emmy winner for “Saving Pelican 895,” and is edited by Tiffany Beaudin, who won the Canadian Cinema Editors Award for “Claude Lanzmann.” Melissa Hood (“The Reckoning”) serves as associate producer, Diana Warmé (“The Skyjacker’s Tale”) as line producer and entertainment lawyer Divya Shahani as executive producer.
Production is complete and final post-production is underway, with the feature doc ready for U.S. broadcast in October. All rights and territories are currently available.
“While circumstances mean this movie will likely launch first on the small screen, it’s our intention to have this work of cinema — which has been created and scored with the big screen in mind — in theaters globally as soon as is safe and feasible,” Benzine added.
“Parasite” distributor Neon recently acquired “Totally Under Control,” a documentary by Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger that details the White House response to the pandemic, and plans to release it in October.