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2024 America's Cup documentary series to be produced by $7billion worldwide box office earner

by America's Cup Event 3 Nov 2022 14:50 PDT 4 November 2022
America's Cup match day 6 - helicopter following the action © ACE / Studio Borlenghi

America’s Cup and Skydance Sports today, Friday announced an exclusive partnership to produce an all-access, behind-the-scenes documentary series on the 37th edition of the America’s Cup, the world’s pinnacle sailing event and longest-running international sports competition.

Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the Academy Award-winning directors of the 2018 documentary Free Solo, will executive produce under their Little Monster Films banner alongside their Academy Award-winning Free Solo producer Evan Hayes and his Anomaly Content & Entertainment (ACE) production company, with David Ellison [SW:son of Larry Ellison, David through his company Skydance Productions produced "Wind Gods" a sports film on the 2010 America's Cup], Jesse Sisgold and Jon Weinbach of Skydance.

For the first time ever, all the teams competing in the iconic sailing event will allow never-before-seen access into their preparations and execution of the race, and the documentary series will showcase the people and the drama – on and off the water – throughout the competition. The 37th America’s Cup will take place in September and October of 2024 in Barcelona where the event’s defending champions, Emirates Team New Zealand, which has won four Cups since 1995, will be challenged by teams including: United States, American Magic; Great Britain, INEOS Britannia; Italy, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli; and Switzerland, Alinghi Red Bull Racing.

Vasarhelyi and Chin said: “We love bringing epic stories to life in an emotional way. Great feats of human potential allow the exploration of deep and meaningful character journeys. You don’t need to be a climber to love Free Solo. Our approach to telling the story of the 37th America’s Cup will be no different. This series is not just for sailing fans; it’s a universal tale of perseverance, obsession, rivalry, and teamwork.”

Grant Dalton, America’s Cup CEO said: “Over the past couple of decades both the America’s Cup and the media environment have evolved and matured significantly. The America’s Cup is one of the few global sporting events that has played out each edition with very little public understanding of what actually goes on nor the true extent of the talented people or innovation involved. To have the ability to partner with Skydance, Jimmy, Chai and their production team to tell these stories is an amazing opportunity for the growth of the event and the sport of sailing.”

Academy Award-Winning Producer Evan Hayes, who also produced the award-winning 2021 documentary Becoming Cousteau, said: “I grew up sailing and have long been fascinated with the America’s Cup, one of the greatest international competitions in history. The America’s Cup is spectacular in every way. The human drama is intense, the scale is epic, and these boats have never raced faster. As the America’s Cup has evolved, so has the untapped potential in telling the stories behind the Cup, as well as showcasing the racing itself. When I first discussed this opportunity with Skydance and my friends Chai & Jimmy, I knew that they would make for an epic team to tell the story of the 37th America’s Cup. This is a dream come true project for me, and also presents a unique opportunity for streaming platforms.”

Today’s announcement is the latest exciting development for Skydance Sports, which recently announced a content partnership with Zebra Valley, the production company of French soccer superstar Kylian Mbappe.

Jon Weinbach, President Skydance Sports said: “America’s Cup is one of the world’s great sports treasures – an authentically historic event with incredibly dynamic characters, rivalries, action and global scope. This is an enormously exciting project for Skydance Sports, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Jimmy, Chai, Evan and the teams to create a significant and memorable series.”

Founded in 1851, the America’s Cup is the oldest competition still operating in any international sport today. It is a match race competition, the ‘challenging’ teams fight it out to determine which is the strongest to then face the current holder of the trophy ‘The Defender’ in the America’s Cup Match. The one-on-one, first to 7 wins race series will decide the winner of the 37th America’s Cup. Winning the Cup has been an obsession for many owners, sailors, designers and boat builders with many devoting their life work to it. This complex fascination has proved essential for fans attracted by the speed, innovation, glamour, rivalries and competition between teams from friendly nations. The all access, behind-the-scenes production is a further extension of the growth strategy of the America’s Cup to make the event and the sport of sailing available to the widest possible audience globally and telling new, never-before-seen stories from within the team bases.

Launched in 2021, Skydance Sports has quickly become the preeminent studio for leagues, teams, elite athletes and A-List Hollywood talent seeking to produce premium, sports-related entertainment. In addition to the America’s Cup docuseries, the studio has several premium projects in production. This month on Prime Video, Skydance Sports will premiere the first-ever global documentary series about the passionate rivalry between the U.S. and Mexican national soccer teams. The studio is also in production on an untitled film about the birth of the Air Jordan brand, starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Viola Davis, and directed by Affleck for Prime Video. In addition, Skydance Sports has strategic partnerships with Meadowlark Media, Gotham Chopra’s Religion of Sports and Kylian Mbappe’s Zebra Valley.

About Little Monster Films

Little Monster Films is an Academy®, BAFTA®, and Emmy® Award-winning production company founded by Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. Their groundbreaking film Free Solo was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2019, in addition to a BAFTA and seven Emmy awards. Their film The Rescue won the People’s Choice award for Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival and recently won three News & Doc Emmy awards, including Outstanding Direction. Their latest documentary Return To Space landed on Netflix’s Top 10 upon release and was Emmy-nominated. This fall National Geographic Channel and Disney+ premiered their ten-part series Edge of The Unknown with Jimmy Chin, featuring transformative stories from the world's greatest adventurers, Little Monster Films produces premium content that captures humanity at its best, aiming to reflect a diverse world both in front of and behind the camera. The company strives to present grounded narratives with intensity and depth while showcasing the extraordinary among us and the power of the human spirit. Upcoming projects include feature documentary Wild Life, an environmentalist love story to air on National Geographic; the docuseries Photographer; and NYAD, a scripted biopic starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster for Netflix.

About ACE

ACE (Anomaly Content & Entertainment) is an award-winning production company that develops and produces premium original content for studios, distributors, media networks and brands including feature film, episodic television, print & publishing, digital & social and experiential/live events. With a team of 30 and offices in NY and LA, ACE makes best in class film, television and brand content at the highest level. ACE’s original offerings are led by Evan Hayes, an Academy Award, BAFTA & Emmy Award-winning producer who has worked on over 30 films & series across a range of budgets and genres. Evan most recently produced the BAFTA-nominated and Critics Choice-winning film Becoming Cousteau, Stacy Peralta’s surf epic The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez, the Hulu scripted series Maggie, as well as the award-winning film The Way I See It for Focus Features. In 2019, Hayes won an Academy Award for Free Solo, which also won a BAFTA and 7 Primetime Emmys, among others. He has also worked on films & series such as He Named Me Malala, Everest, Outlander, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Atonement, Hot Fuzz, United 93 and Senna.

About Skydance

Skydance is the diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create high-quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company first launched with Feature Films and has since strategically expanded to include Television, Interactive, Animation, New Media and Sports, with studios in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Spain and Canada.

Skydance’s films includes the box office record-breaking Top Gun: Maverick, The Adam Project which debuted as the number one movie on Netflix, The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime Video which became the number one streaming film upon its release, as well as the critically-acclaimed The Old Guard on Netflix. The studio’s upcoming film slate includes The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Ghosted, The Family Plan for Apple TV+; Heart of Stone, The Old Guard 2 and a reboot of the Spy Kids film franchise for Netflix; and the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible global franchise.

In total, Skydance’s films have earned more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office. Skydance Television is a leading supplier of premium scripted content across a range of platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.

The studio’s current slate includes the Emmy-nominated series Grace and Frankie, which became Netflix’s longest running series following the release of its final season earlier this year, as well as Foundation, Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Condor, The Big Door Prize and an untitled spy series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first ever scripted television series. Skydance Interactive creates and publishes original and IP-based virtual reality and other immersive video games including the top-selling The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, which received several award nominations, including “Best VR/AR Game” at the 2020 Game Awards.

Skydance New Media creates narratively focused interactive experiences crafted as original series, putting the audience at the center of the action and adventure, with the first two productions being with Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm Games respectively. Skydance Sports develops premium scripted and unscripted sports-related content, documentaries and events. Skydance Sports is currently in production on two projects for Amazon Prime Video: the docuseries Good Rivals and an untitled film about the origins of the Air Jordan brand starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and directed by Affleck. Skydance Animation develops and produces high-end feature films and television series with full production capability across two studios in Los Angeles and Madrid. The first two slated movies are Luck and Spellbound, the first short film is Blush, and the first series is Wondla, all premiering on Apple TV+. The Company’s investment partners include Tencent Holdings, Redbird Capital, CJ ENM, and the Ellison Family.

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