EXCLUSIVE: MTV Documentary Films has acquired the North American rights to 76 days, a raw and emotional look at the struggles of the people of Wuhan, China, in the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic. Directed by New York filmmaker Hao Wu (People’s Republic of Desire) and China-based journalists Weixi Chen and “Anonymous”, 76 DAYS premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. MTV Studios is in the process of determining the release model, but most important at the moment is qualifying for an Oscar. A rewards campaign is a big part of the deployment plan. The film will be the opening night film of the Double Exposure Film Festival and will also play AFI.
The document was shot in four hospitals in Wuhan, on the front line of the pandemic. From a woman begging in vain to say a final farewell to her father, from a demented grandfather seeking to return home, to a couple eager to meet their newborn, to a nurse determined to return personal items to the families of the deceased, scenes of resilience and tragedy were captured at a time when it was still unclear how the global trajectory of the airborne virus would bring the global economy to a halt.
Co-director Hao Wu said he and his two collaborators were “thrilled to be working with legendary Sheila Nevins and MTV Documentary Films. It has been a difficult and treacherous journey to complete a COVID-19 movie during a global pandemic. We could not have found more committed partners to bring this story of hope, of our shared humanity in this divided and frightened world, to the North American public.
Says Nevins: “Hao Wu delivers a remarkable film about Wuhan hospitals and their treatment of virulent coronavirus, capturing compassion, terror, obedience and the recognition that this virus can be stopped,” said Sheila Nevins, executive producer , MTV Documentary Films.
Said Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and Chief Creative Officer, ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Brands: “Liza Burnett Fefferman and I were amazed by 76 days and the extraordinary cinema at stake. Sheila’s curation is unprecedented and we feel privileged to present this skillfully constructed and poignant story of those affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan during the early days of the outbreak to the public of the whole world. “
Pic was acquired at the Heartland International Film Festival, where Sheila Nevins served on the feature documentary jury. The sale was negotiated by CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers and Bahareh Kamali and Lance McPherson on behalf of MTV Documentary Films.
76 daysThe producers are Hao Wu and Jean Tsien and the photo was written and edited by Hao Wu and shot by Anonymous and Weixi Chen. Executive producers are Bryn Mooser, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Naja Pham Lockwood, Jamie Chen and Roberto Grande.