discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service, announced today the acquisition of the feature documentary film, REBEL HEARTS, which premiered to glowing reviews at Sundance. Directed by Emmy® award winning filmmaker Pedro Kos, and a co-production between Merman and Anchor Entertainment in association with Level Forward and Quiet, the film tells the immersive story of a trailblazing group of nuns who bravely stood up to the patriarchy of the Catholic Church.
discovery+ continues to ramp up their original documentary slate with projects from the best storytellers. REBEL HEARTS joins a diverse slate of documentaries including FRANCESCO, MY BEAUTIFUL STUTTER, and MIRACLE FISHING: KIDNAPPED ABROAD, launching on the service this year.
In 1960s Los Angeles, The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary fought for equality, their livelihoods, and their own freedom against an all-powerful Cardinal who sought to keep them in their place. Their bold acts of faith, defiance and activism turned the church upside down, helping to reshape our society in ways that continue to resonate today. Kos combines incredible archival footage, stunning animation and two decades of never-before-seen interviews gathered by the film’s producer Shawnee Isaac-Smith to beautifully illustrate the story of these incredible women.
Director Pedro Kos says “We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with discovery+ to bring the forgotten story of the joyous rebellion of the Immaculate Heart Sisters to a global audience. Even though REBEL HEARTS is mostly set in the 1960s we have always felt this David versus Goliath story will very much resonate today. We’re excited for the world to meet these inspiring women and experience the awakening where they found their voices and became unlikely vanguards of change.”
“REBEL HEARTS truly stood out for us at this year’s jam-packed Sundance Film Festival. From the first frame to the last, Pedro Kos’ stylish approach grips the audiences with masterful storytelling highlighting the forward-thinking voices from the Immaculate Heart Sisters. These women are true game changers, challenging the status quo around patriarchy, gender politics and social justice while always working towards bettering themselves and those around them. It is the perfect fit for discovery+ where we aspire to spotlight inspiring stories that promote diversity, inclusion and women’s empowerment,” states Igal Svet, VP of Documentaries, discovery+.
discovery+ will launch the film globally in 2021.
REBEL HEARTS is directed by Pedro Kos; produced by Kira Carstensen, Shawnee Isaac-Smith and Judy Korin; executive producers Ethan Goldman, Pedro Kos, Abigail E. Disney, Adrienne Becker, Christy Spitzer Thornton, Quiet, Meadow Fund; for Whitewater Films executive producers Nancy Stephens & Rick Rosenthal; for XTR executive producer Tony Hsieh and co-executive producers Roberto Grande, Bryn Mooser, Justin Lacob, Kathryn Everett, Mimi Pham; additional co-executive producers Nina Fialkow, Kristín Ólafsdóttir, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Lyn Davis Lear, Regina K. Scully and Emma Ho. The film is a Merman/Anchor Entertainment production in association with Level Forward and Quiet.
The deal was negotiated by Submarine’s Josh Braun and Matt Burke on behalf of the filmmakers.