Apple picks up 'Boys State' documentary for Sundance high of $12M

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What you need to know

  • Apple has purchased worldwide rights for documentary 'Boys State'.
  • Sources claim the deal is worth $12 million, a Sundance festival record for a documentary
  • The acclaimed film is a political coming of age story about the health of American democracy.

Apple and A24 have bought the worldwide rights to political documentary Boys State for a reported $12 million, the largest-ever sale price for a documentary at the Sundance festival.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Apple and A24 have acquired worldwide rights to the documentary Boys State, a political coming-of-age story which examines the health of American democracy. A source pegged the deal at $12 million, which marks the largest sale for a documentary ever at a festival. A24 will release the film theatrically.The previous record for the largest documentary sale at Sundance was 2019's Knock Down the House, which sold for $10 million. Sources say Netflix and Hulu were also bidding at $12 million.

Directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, the film is about an unusual experiment where 1,000 17-year-old boys from Texas gather to create a representative government from the ground up:

High-minded ideals collide with low-down dirty tricks as four boys of diverse backgrounds and political views navigate the challenges of organizing political parties, shaping consensus and campaigning for the highest office at Texas Boys State — governor.

Apparently, the film got "sustained standing ovations" at its premiere on Friday, and has drawn strong reviews. In a statement the directors said:

"It's been an incredible experience watching audiences fall in love with Boys State at Sundance... Along with Concordia Studio, we are thrilled to partner with two incredible companies, Apple and A24, that will help bring Boys State to audiences all over the world."

There is no indication as to when the film will be released on Apple TV+.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9