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Berlin: Java Films Nabs Doc 'Emptying the Skies,' Based on Jonathan Franzen's New Yorker Essay

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 11, 2014 at 2:12PM

Java Films has snapped up world rights to Douglas Kass' feature documentary out of the Berlin Film Festival, "Emptying the Skies." The film is based on a "New Yorker" essay by bestselling author Jonathan Franzen, which looks at the rampant poaching of migratory songbirds.
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'Emptying the Skies'
'Emptying the Skies'

Java Films has snapped up world rights to Douglas Kass' feature documentary out of the Berlin Film Festival, "Emptying the Skies." The film is based on this "New Yorker" essay by bestselling author Jonathan Franzen, which looks at the rampant poaching of migratory songbirds.

The film previously played DOC NYC and the Hamptons International Film Festival.

Here's the brief official synopsis:

Songbird populations have been drastically declining for decades, and a number of species face extinction imminently. The film follows an intrepid squad of bird-lovers who risk their lives waging a secret war to save these endangered creatures and features in depth interviews with worldwide best selling author Jonathan Franzen.

A domestic distribution partner will be announced soon. You can check out a Vimeo teaser trailer for the film here.

This article is related to: News, Documentary, Documentaries, Berlin International Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.