U.K./U.S. production outfit Lightbox, and U.K. sales agent and distributor Altitude, have announced “Diana,” the first theatrical release documentary about Princess Diana.
The documentary is set for a summer 2022 theatrical release worldwide to mark the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. The film, produced in association with HBO and Sky, will have its television premiere on HBO and stream on HBO Max in the U.S.; and on Sky Documentaries in the U.K. Altitude Film Distribution will release the film in the U.K. and Ireland.
Lightbox is the company co-founded by Simon Chinn, double Oscar winner for “Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire,” and Jonathan Chinn, double Primetime Emmy winner for “LA 92” and “American High.”
Using an archive-only approach, “Diana” will draw on thousands of hours of news reports, previously unseen footage and photographs, to create a documentary record of the life and times of a global icon. Ed Perkins, Oscar-nominee for “Black Sheep,” will direct.
“Though we are telling a story which has been told and re-told many times, my aim is to reframe it for a modern audience and make it feel as fresh and relevant as it ever has,” said Perkins. “The idea of taking an archive-only approach will allow us to immerse audiences in the narrative as if it were being told in the present.”
Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn added: “The mythology surrounding Princess Diana remains as potent as ever, but we want to paint as honest a portrait as we can of a complex woman who had a powerful influence not just on the British monarchy but on wider society. In doing so we also want to allow audiences not just to better understand Diana but, through her story, to come to an understanding of the era that shaped it and to connect the dots between then and now.”
Altitude Film Sales has already pre-sold the film to theatrical buyers in multiple territories, including: Benelux (Piece of Magic), Germany and Austria (Studio Hamburg), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), Portugal (NOS Lusomundo Audiovisuais), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Czech Republic (AQS), Japan (Tohokushinsha), Australia & New Zealand (Madman), Middle East (Phars) and Turkey (Filmarti).
Lia Devlin, director of distribution at Altitude, said: “The life of Princess Diana is a global story that still resounds for generations today. Having worked closely with Lightbox previously we are acutely aware of the care, responsibility and attention with which they approach their filmmaking and alongside Ed’s consideration for her story, we look forward to ‘Diana’ as a compelling and honest film that will be embraced by audiences in the U.K. and worldwide.”
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