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Megan Ellison-Mark Boal Terrorism Documentary ‘Death in the Terminal’ Lands at Topic

Variety logo Variety 5/10/2017 Dave McNary
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First Look Media’s Topic has acquired U.S. rights to Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry’s documentary “Death in the Terminal,” which recaps a 2015 terrorist attack in Israel.

The film won prizes at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and Israel’s Academy Awards. It’s executive produced by Megan Ellison (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Mark Boal through his Page 1 film and television production company.

Filmmaker Alma Har’el (“LoveTrue”) shepherded the project after discovering it at the Doc Aviv Film Festival and produced in partnership with YesDocu.

“Death in the Terminal” recaps the events of  Oct. 18, 2015, when a terrorist armed with a gun and a knife entered a bus terminal in the Southern Israeli city of Beersheba. Using surveillance footage and cellphone cameras, the  film presents a minute-by-minute Rashomon-style account of the series of tragic events that unfolded over the ensuing 18 minutes. Three people were killed — the perpetrator, a soldier and and a bystander mistaken for a terrorist.

“This film is a powerful portrayal of how storytelling shifts our perception of people, events and even our own preconceptions,” said Adam Pincus, First Look Media’s exec VP of programming and content. “’Death in the Terminal’ is a perfect example of what we look for — it’s provocative, artful filmmaking that challenges us to re-think how we look at the world.”

“Death in the Terminal” recently won the Audience Award and Best Mid-Length Documentary Award at the HotDocs festival in Toronto.

Directors Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry said, “This is a dream coming true and we couldn’t imagine a better home for ‘Death in The Terminal’ than with the First Look Media family. It’s an honor to work with Mark Boal and Megan Ellison who are filmmakers that challenge and inspire us to make films that matter.”

The deal was negotiated by Ryan Heller for First Look Media with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.

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