The planned slate will span all genres and formats, and will leverage the companies’ combined strategic experience and resources to tap into the booming documentary market. The JV is spearheaded by New Regency’s Yariv Milchan and Michael Schaefer and Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman.
Dana O’Keefe has been appointed president of the company, stepping down from Cinetic Media where he served as a partner. The executive was involved in hundreds of films over the course of his tenure, including the Oscar-winning documentaries “Summer of Soul,” “Free Solo” and “Amy.”
Double Agent says it will offer filmmakers “robust financing capability” and high-end creative services for the development and production of non-fiction feature films, series and emerging formats.
The JV deal was negotiated by Black Bear partner Michael Heimler and head of business affairs Adam Raichilson, David Friedman and Eric Roth on behalf of New Regency, and Jerry Dasti of Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes LawCo on behalf of O’Keefe.
Black Bear’s Schwarzman said: “Dana is a seasoned powerhouse in the documentary space with tremendous relationships, an eye for talent, and a keen understanding of content that can reach a global audience. Along with our friends at New Regency, Black Bear is delighted to back Double Agent and Dana with our full resources and couldn’t be more excited to dive head-first into premium unscripted film and television.”
Yariv Milchan, chairman and CEO of New Regency, added: “We pursued this collaboration because we know that Teddy, Dana, and the Black Bear team can uphold our standard for excellence. This is a partnership amongst the best and brightest in the business, with all the tools to become leaders in the non-fiction world.”
O’Keefe said: “We are living in an era that can be rightly described as the renaissance of documentary. It is a dynamic and vibrant landscape defined by innovation and a rapidly expanding audience. We will collaborate with the greatest contemporary storytellers to make possible ambitious, daring works that reflect the culture and reality of the 21st Century as it unfolds around us, in all its complexity and diversity. The possibilities are endless.”
New Regency’s credits include “The Revenant,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman” as well as “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The company has also moved into television, setting up a London-based outpost in 2019. Recent credits include “The Beast Must Die.”
Black Bear’s slate includes feature films such as Rosamund Pike’s “I Care a Lot,” “Mudbound” and “The Imitation Game.”
Variety's Manori Ravindran contributed to this post.