Canadian Co-Pro ‘The Oslo Diaries’ Goes to HBO
By Pat Mullen
Good news out of Sundance: the Canadian-Israeli co-production The Oslo Diaries has been picked up by HBO. The film is produced by Ina Fichman (Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt) of Canada’s Intuitive Pictures and Hilla Medalia (Muhi: Generally Temporary) of Israel’s Medalia Productions with Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan directing. The Oslo Diaries will premiere on HBO later this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords with Radio-Canada and the documentary Channel broadcasting the doc in Canada.
The Oslo Diaries recounts the political climate and tensions between Israel and Palestine in 1992 when a small group of citizens from both regions convened a series of secret meetings in Norway to discuss peace. These conversations come to life in the film through interviews, archival footage, and dramatic re-enactments. The film premiered in the World Cinema Documentary competition and was one of two feature Canadian docs at Sundance along with Anote’s Ark.
“We are humbled and excited by the warm hug our film has received from audiences at the Sundance Film Festival and thrilled with HBO’s decision to acquire the film,” say Loushy and Sivan in a statement. “The prestigious platform of HBO will allow us to reach millions of viewers and we’re full of hope that this film will lead to the crucial dialogue we are missing so much these days, when it seems both sides have given up on a peaceful solution.”
Early reviews from Sundance praised the film’s artful blend of drama and documentary with The Hollywood Reporter calling the film “heartrending” and saying the style has “more energy and thrust than a ‘purer’ approach might have offered.” Slug noted the film’s resonance with contemporary politics in a sea of topical films at the fest, writing, “As relations between Palestine and Israel have continued contentiously, revisiting the events that The Oslo Diaries covers is paramount.”
The deal for The Oslo Diaries was negotiated with HBO by Josh Braun and Ben Braun for Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.