by Diana Lodderhose -Associated Press
EXCLUSIVE: Oliver Stone looks set to return to the Croisette this year with his four-hour doc The Putin Interviews, which debuts in the U.S. on Showtime next month. I’m hearing that IM Global and IM Global Television are combining to handle international rights for the project and that Stone will touch down in Cannes to privately screen footage and discuss the project with distributors.
IM Global Television is reportedly already at work licensing rights to various major international broadcasters to air the four one-hour episodes as event TV simultaneously with Showtime in the U.S. Meanwhile, the film sales operation will apparently be selling further international rights to buyers in Cannes next week.
IM Global was unavailable for comment.
Aided by his longtime documentary producer Fernando Sulichin, Oscar-winning writer and director Stone spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a series of interviews over the course of two years, with the most recent interview taking place this past February following Donald Trump’s inauguration. Throughout the documentary, the Russian ruler discusses Trump, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as well as topics such as NATO and turmoil in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. Putin, who became President of Russia in 2000, also touches on his relationships with former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barak Obama.
The project is a real coup for Stone as The Putin Interviews marks the first time any Westerner has spoken as such length with the Russian President since he came into office. Interview sessions were held throughout the Kremlin, Sochi and Putin’s official residence outside of Moscow and no topics were judged off limits.
Sulichin and Stone produce with New Element Media and Rob Wilson. Showtime is set to debut The Putin Interviews over four consecutive nights starting on Monday, June 12 at 9 PM.