Magnolia Pictures Acquires Harry Benson HIFF Doc

Harry Benson Signs "Palm Beach People"
Harry Benson Signs “Palm Beach People,” Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM

Variety reported Tuesday that Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Matthew Miele and Justin Bare‘s documentary Harry Benson: Shoot First, which premiered at the 2015 Hamptons International Film Festival in October. The film tells the story of photographer and Hamptons visitor Harry Benson, who became famous after covering The Beatles’ first trip to the United States in 1964.

Along with Benson as the central figure, the doc includes appearances by Amagansett’s Alec Baldwin, Montauker Ralph LaurenDan Rather, who Baldwin interviewed at HIFF, Donald Trump, Piers Morgan, James L. Brooks, Henry Kissinger and Joe Namath.

Benson, an 86-year-old Scotland native, is still working as a photographer. He has published 15 books, including Harry Benson: The Beatles in 2013 and Palm Beach People (with Hilary Geary Ross) in 2014, and had captured images of many of the world’s most famous and influential people, and historic moments, including Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Bobby Fischer, Dolly PartonMuhammad Ali, Greta Garbo, Frank Sinatra, Hamptonite Truman Capote, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, Andrew Wyeth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Robert F. Kennedy assassination.

Justin Bare, Gigi Benson and Heather Silverman have producer credits, while Miele, Stephen McCarthy and Clive Gershon are executive producers and Arnie Herrmann is co-executive producer. Miele also directed the Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s documentary, featuring Hamptons regulars, including Susan Lucci, Rachel Zoe, Vera Wang, Michaels Kors and Isaac Mizrahi.

According to Variety, Magnolia will begin international sales at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, which opens on February 11. The film distributor is seeking to release the film in theaters this year.

Magnolia’s Dori Begley and John Von Thaden negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media on the filmmakers’ behalf.