FilmRise Acquires Unauthorized “Star Wars” Documentary “Elstree 1976”

elstree-1976

January 8, 2016 — With Star Wars: The Force Awakens getting ready to crush all previous movie box office records, FilmRise is pleased to announce that it has acquired the rights to Elstree 1976, the unauthorized Star Wars documentary.

The film, which premiered at the 2015 London Film Festival, interviews cast and crew members from the franchise, going back to the 1976 original. They tell numerous behind-the-scenes stories and discuss the ways that being part of the franchise has affected their lives.

Elstree 1976‘s title refers to Elstree village, the location of the studio in which the original Star Wars movie was made in 1976.

Disney, who bought the rights to the franchise from George Lucas, did not cooperate with the film in any way. A Kickstarter campaign brought in the film’s funding.

The filmmakers interviewed crew members and actors and extras who appeared in the franchise (and even one whose work was cut out). The various actors discuss their lives during and after the filming, the community that was created by participants in the films and they tell production stories that have not previously been made public.

Jon Spira wrote, edited and directed the film; Hank Starrs and Steve Milne produced it.

FilmRise has acquired the rights in all media and will release the film theatrically in May. Danny Fisher, FilmRise’s CEO  stated “As evidenced by the incredible success of the latest Star Wars installment, the franchise has found its way back into mainstream consciousness, …We are confident fans will enjoy this exploratory look into the lives of the original film’s actors and extras, as it provides them with a new perspective on this massive cultural phenomenon.”

FilmRise has also recently acquired the rights to several high-profile documentaries, including Janis: Little Girl Blue, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. In addition, FilmRise has acquired the rights to Monster Hunt, the Chinese box office sensation, and will present both the original and an English-language version for theatrical release on January 22.
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