Lightning Entertainment Signs for International Sales on Documentary Film Based on Global Bestselling Book “Secrets of the Code”
Sales Debut At European Film Market
Los Angeles, CA – February 10, 2006 – Lightning Entertainment, the Los Angeles based sales and distribution company, announced that it has acquired international sales rights to the buzz documentary feature “Secrets of the Code” from award winning filmmakers, two-time Academy Award Nominee Jonathan Stack (“The Farm: Angola, USA”) and Jeff Swimmer (winner of the Dupont Award for “Northern Ireland: Dying for Peace”). The announcement was made today by Lightning Entertainment Co-President Richard Guardian.
New York Times best-selling author Dan Burstein (Secrets of the Code) has teamed with Stack, Swimmer and Producer Donald Zuckerman (“Green Street Hooligans,” “The Man From Elysian Fields”) to create a provocative and entertaining feature-length documentary tied to Burstein’s book of the same name (over 400,000 hard cover copies sold in the United States and more than a 1 million internationally). Both Burstein’s book and the film explore the global obsession inspired by Dan Brown’s phenomenally successful novel The Da Vinci Code, the fastest selling adult novel in the history of publishing.
Using “Secrets of the Code” as a springboard, Stack, Swimmer and Burstein are fashioning a documentary film that is a unique mix of art and commerce. Visually stunning, informative, intriguing and, at times, amusing, the “Secrets of the Code” film takes a provocative look at the controversy surrounding Dan Brown’s novel. But it goes further. Without in any way compromising its entertainment objective, “Secrets of the Code” examines the importance of religion in today’s world. It focuses generally on religion’s origins, its appeal, and its place in our lives; and specifically it follows some colorful individuals whose lives have been transformed by the questions raised in the novel. Everyone who has put down the book—or will leave the movie theater—wanting to talk about and know more about the issues touched on in The Da Vinci Code will find the “Secrets of the Code” documentary feature an engaging continuation of the conversation.
The film takes it as gospel that people yearn to make sense of their lives and of existence in general. It is to this need that theologians, social commentators, psychologists, well-known actors, and ordinary people will speak. It will explore the role that symbols, archetypal images, folk tales, and sacred knowledge consciously and unconsciously play in the lives of people around the world.
“Secrets of the Code” is currently being shot in Jerusalem, having already filmed across the United States and in England, Scotland, France, and Italy, following the journey of the book to its many locations. The film is expected to be completed in late May 2006, just on the tail of the worldwide theatrical release of Sony’s Ron Howard-Tom Hanks juggernaut “The Da Vinci Code.”
Commented Guardian, “’Secrets of the Code’” is the essential companion to help understand, unravel, and explain the many mysteries and theories of “The Da Vinci Code”. There will undoubtedly be low-budget items and TV programs in the marketplace trying to capitalize on the book and blockbuster movie, but nothing with the production value, branding, and filmmaking pedigree of ‘Secrets of the Code.’ I already have offers before heading out to Berlin.”
Lightning Entertainment will handle sales for the film at the European Film Market in Berlin, where the film is making its market debut. Lightning plans to debut the film with screenings at the Marche in Cannes later this year.
The deal was negotiated by Guardian for Lightning and Graham Taylor of Endeavor and producer Donald Zuckerman for the film.
About the Book:
“Secrets of the Code,” by Dan Burstein, with close to two million copies now in print in the United States and 24 international editions, has outsold all the other guidebooks to The Da Vinci Code combined. In addition to being a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestseller, “Secrets of the Code” achieved top ten bestseller status in eight other countries. The book is widely considered the definitive reader’s guide to The Da Vinci Code. A new and updated edition of “Secrets of the Code” will be published in the U.S. in March (CDS Books/Perseus) with a first printing of close to half a million copies. “Secrets of the Code” features a wide range of intellectual, political, and religious viewpoints on the issues raised by The Da Vinci Code and includes commentaries by world class historians, theologians, biblical scholars, ancient language experts, cryptographers, art historians, archeologists, medievalists, scientists and more.
About Lightning Entertainment:
Based in Los Angeles, Lightning Entertainment is a boutique distribution company involved in worldwide distribution and licensing of independent film product, as well as acquisitions and co-productions. Helmed by President Richard S. Guardian, his partners, Mainline Releasing principals Rich Goldberg and Marc Greenberg, Lightning Entertainment plans to bring 6-8 quality films to the marketplace every year. Mainline Releasing continues to operate separately as a successful top-tier video and television distributor for Goldberg and Greenberg.
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