September 12th, 2014

Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films Acquire North American Rights to “Sunshine Superman”

World Premiere at the 2014 TIFF; U.S. Premiere at the New York Film Festival on Monday, Oct. 6

The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights to SUNSHINE SUPERMAN, a heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, “the father of BASE jumping,” whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular — and dangerous — feats of foot-launched human flight by first-time feature filmmaker Marah Strauch at the Toronto International Film Festival.   Magnolia Pictures has acquired the theatrical, VOD and home entertainment rights; CNN Films has acquired the television broadcast distribution rights.

“Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films are the perfect partners for Sunshine Superman, a film about taking risks and following your dreams,” said Director Marah Strauch. “We are very excited to share our film with people all across the country and to be working with a team that understands the power of documentaries that not only change the world, but also entertain.”

A Scissor Kick Films, Flimmer Films, and Submarine Entertainment Production, SUNSHINE SUPERMAN will make its U.S. debut next month at the prestigious New York Film Festival. CNN Films will broadcast the film exclusively on the network in 2016, following a 2015 theatrical release by Magnolia.

“SUNSHINE SUPERMAN is a breathtakingly exciting work, and only partly because of the amazing aerial feats of the Boenishes,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “The dramatic sweep of the story rivals the footage of the jumps to deliver an incredible journey for the audience.”

In that era of danger and excitement, Carl Boenish helped coin the acronym “BASE”, which stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth—the various objects from which Carl and his friends would jump. Carl was the catalyst behind modern fixed object jumping; an electrical engineer and filmmaker who believed in BASE-jumping as a spiritual practice through which mankind would overcome all of its self-imposed limitations. He religiously chronicled the early days of BASE in beautiful 16mm film, often with cameras mounted to the jumpers’ heads giving a bird’s-eye point of view of the jump.  Carl’s skills were perfectly married to his milieu and his moment, as he was able to capture on film the very birth of foot-launched human flight.

“CNN Films is excited to be part of director Marah Strauch’s first feature film, eight years in the making. SUNSHINE SUPERMAN will no doubt showcase her as a rising star in independent film,” said Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide. “We’re also pleased to be collaborating with Magnolia Pictures, once again, to bring her exciting and riveting film to a broad audience.”

The deal was negotiated by Josh Braun, Dan Braun and David Koh of Submarine on behalf of the producers with Dori Begley and John Van Thaden on behalf of Magnolia, and Vinnie Malhotra and Stacey Wolf on behalf of CNN Films. Evan Krauss of Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers provided legal on behalf of the producers.

Marah Strauch wrote and directed SUNSHINE SUPERMAN, which was produced by Eric Bruggemann, Marah Strauch for Scissor Kick Films and Lars Loge for Flimmer Films. Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney, Josh Braun, Dan Braun and Samantha Horley are executive producers of the film.

Twitter:  @Sunshinesuper7.



Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain and AXS TV. Recent releases include acclaimed documentaries Life Itself and Whitey, Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, Richard Ayoade’s dystopian vision The Double, Alan Partridge starring Steve Coogan, Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas, Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, and Frontera. Upcoming releases include The Two Faces of January, Life Partners starring Leighton Meister and Gillian Jacobs, Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard starring Shailene Woodley, Swedish Oscar selection Force Majeure, Nymphomaniac: The Extended Cut, the animated feature The Hero of Color City, and many more.


CNN Films brings documentaries beyond the small screen by developing strategic partnerships to leverage distribution opportunities at film festivals and in theaters, acquiring and commissioning films for broadcast on CNN, and providing finishing funds for collaborative film productions.  Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, oversee the strategy for documentaries for CNN Films.  Malhotra manages the day-to-day operation of CNN Films, and works directly with filmmakers to develop original projects.  For more information about CNN Films, please visit

CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.