Discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service, announced the acquisition DEAR MR. BRODY,  the latest documentary from Emmy(r)-winning filmmaker Keith Maitland (“Tower”).  The film explores the complex story of Michael Brody Jr., a hippie-millionaire and heir to a margarine fortune who publicly offered his $25-million inheritance to anyone in need in 1970. This extraordinary gesture sparked a nationwide frenzy, with thousands of people writing letters requesting his help. Decades later, an enormous cache of these letters was discovered—unopened.

The film, an official selection of the Telluride Film Festival, has garnered strong critical acclaim, with Deadline praising it as “remarkable… a wildly entertaining, bonkers ride,” and Variety calling  it “fascinating… a poignant, multifaceted investigation of universal dreams, desires and heartbreaking struggles.” DEAR MR. BRODY also screened at SXSW and the Tribeca Festival this year.  Greenwich Entertainment will release the film theatrically in early 2022 ahead of the launch on discovery+.

“The stories in Michael Brody’s letters, silent for 50 years, are somehow more relevant now than ever — they challenge us to look at our world and at ourselves,” said director Keith Maitland.

Jenny Raskin of Impact Partners and Maria Zuckerman of Topic Studios said: “With DEAR MR. BRODY, Keith Maitland brings his unique, directorial vision to this fascinating, unknown chapter of history. We are thrilled that this beautiful film will find its audiences in theaters and on discovery+”:

In addition, discovery+ has announced three new titles that will join the 2021 line-up.   These titles include SET!, a behind-the-scenes look into the highly competitive, often hilarious and cut-throat world of competitive table setting, DEAD MAN’S SWITCH, which follows the international scandal caused by the mysterious death of a 30-year-old cryptocurrency exchange CEO with $215 million still missing , and KEEP SWEET, a documentary that goes deep into the notoriously insular the FLDS community 10 years after prophet Warren Jeffs’ conviction  for aggravated sexual assault.

All films join previously announced CRUTCH (October 14), INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR (in theaters October 15 and launching on October 21), and Rudolph & Werner Herzog’s LAST EXIT: SPACE (Winter, 2022).

“This has been a tremendous first  year for documentaries on discovery+, culminating with this bold slate of projects across our key genres. We’re thrilled to welcome DEAR MR. BRODY, SET!, DEAD MAN’S SWITCH & KEEP SWEET to our vibrant upcoming lineup of awards contenders and crowd pleasers” says Igal Svet, Vice President of Documentaries, discovery+. “While all so different, each title embodies the quality, diversity & urgency that have become the pillars of discovery+ original documentaries. We are excited to share these stories on discovery+ around the globe as we continue our expansion in docs.’

Below is a list of titles (in chronological order)

SET! (November 12, 2021)

Director:  Scott Gawlik (Dave Atell: Road work)

Once a year, a group of feverishly determined table setters vie for the “Best of Show” ribbon at the Orange County Fair table setting competition. Often referred to as “The Olympics of Table Setting,” contestants can spend over 6 months preparing their table to compete and ultimately be judged. A mere misplaced soup spoon can mean the end for an otherwise perfect table. But like any competition, it is not without its dramatics. Old rivalries, controversy, and eccentric personalities come to a head as SET! explores topics far beyond the silverware. It shows the extent to which a hobby can become a passion, which can then provide a purpose. It explores the reasons why we make art and how sharing your creative vision, however terrifying it may be, ultimately makes you a truer version of yourself.

SET! had its world premiere at HotDocs and will screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival In October.

Written, directed, edited and produced by Scott Gawlik.  Worldwide sales were represented by MetFilm Sales.

KEEP SWEET, (November 24, 2021)

Directed by Don Argott ( Believer, The Art of the Steal)

Warren Jeffs was the Prophet of the FLDS, an offshoot of Mormonism.  Jeffs’ demanded absolute loyalty, and instituted complete adherence to the religion, requiring strict dress codes, banishing community celebrations and casting out followers who didn’t fall in line.

His controversial reign ended with a conviction for sexual assault with underage girls, landing him in jail for life. Jeffs’ downfall sent shock waves throughout the community, with some continuing to pledge their loyalty to him, while others turned their backs on Jeff’s and the FLDS religion altogether.

Ten years after his arrest, those left behind attempt to rebuild their community. KEEP SWEET is an allegory for the unsettling reality we are living through in America. Can we learn how to live with one another despite our different ideologies, or are we destined to live apart?

Produced by Don, Sheena M. Joyce & Glenn Meehan. 44 Blue serve as Executive Producers.

Endeavor Content represented worldwide sales rights for the film.

DEAD MAN’S SWITCH (December 23, 2021)

Director: Sheona McDonald (When Dreams Take Flight)

A young cryptocurrency exchange CEO suddenly and mysteriously dies on his honeymoon in India, sparking an international scandal and leaving $215 million of investors’ money inaccessible to anyone. What really happened to the young entrepreneur and where is the money?

Dead Man’s Switch played at hotDOCS, Calgary International Film Festival, DOXA, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and Gimli Film Festival. Worldwide rights were represented by Espresso Media International.

DEAR MR BRODY (Winter 2022)

Director: Keith Maitland (Tower, A Song For You)

When hippie-millionaire Michael Brody Jr.  publicly announced that he would be giving away his fortune in 1970, he and his wife became instant celebrities they were mobbed by the public, scrutinized by the press, and overwhelmed by a crush of personal letters from across America responding to his  extraordinary offer.  DEAR MR. BRODY uses a mix of archival footage, psychedelic animation, stylized recreations, and interviews with the letter writers themselves, to offer a moving meditation on universal human struggles and needs, as well as a uniquely preserved snapshot of a year of American history that deeply resonates today.

Produced by Melissa Robyn Glassman, Megan Gilbride, Keith Maitland, and Sarah Wilson.  Executive Produced by Edward R. Pressman, Shep Gordon, Jon Katz, Carolyn Pfeiffer, Regina K. Scully, for Impact Partners: Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin and Geralyn White Dreyfous, and for Topic Studios: Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Lisa Leingang.  Cinetic Media represented the deal on the filmmakers’ behalf.

The films above join the below previously announced titles to round out the 2021 slate.

CRUTCH (October 14, 2021)

Directors: Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans

CRUTCH provides an intimate look into award-winning dancer and cutting-edge performance artist Bill Shannon. Born with a degenerative hip condition, Shannon developed a way to express himself through dancing and skateboarding on crutches. Two decades of exclusive access, plus a lifetime of archival footage, depict Shannon’s extraordinary journey through medical odyssey, his struggles with chronic pain, as well as the evolution of his crutch dancing and skating. As Shannon rises to become a world-renowned performance artist, he transforms from an angry skate punk to an international hero.

Crutch premiered at DOC NYC and recently played the Bentonville Film Festival.

INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR (In theaters October 15, 2021 and launching October 21, 2021)

Director: Rachel Fleit

Director Rachel Fleit’s deeply intimate and powerful feature of one woman’s journey of personal acceptance and resilience, INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR, follows the singular actress as she reckons with the next chapter of her life after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  The film explores complex issues ranging from dissecting deep-rooted myths about beauty, and the collective fear around disability and mortality.  Complete with her trademark wit and humor, the film follows Blair as she reconciles a journey of monumental transition.

Introducing, Selma Blair premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award for Documentary Feature and will screen at the 2021 Hamptons Film Festival.

LAST EXIT: SPACE (Winter, 2022 )

Director: Rudolph Herzog

Executive Producer: Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog takes us on an unforgettable journey into space and living beyond Earth as he looks to answer the big question, how close are we to fulfilling our dream of becoming space colonists?