PBS America – in its first deal with an independent distributor – has secured the exclusive pay TV rights to the upcoming documentary film Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet. The deal was made with independent distributor Dogwoof. Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet will premiere on PBS America in January 2013 following the film’s UK wide cinematic release on November 16th.
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet tells the story of guitar prodigy Jason Becker and his fight with the fatal neuro-degenerative disorder Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Director Jesse Vile deftly charts the life of Jason Becker – from his early years learning guitar, to wowing fellow students with his prowess at school talent show, to being chosen as guitarist for Van Halen, to the diagnosis, and to where he is now, 20 years later, still making music and still very much alive. With the help of his devoted family and an army of friends, Jason now communicates and makes music using his eyes to guide a cursor and create in his mind (and on computer) the music he used to make on his guitar.
Speaking of Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, Richard Kingsbury, General Manager of PBS America, said: “Jason Becker is an amazing story, beautifully told and is a perfect way for us to test the waters for third party acquisitions. We are looking for jewels of American culture to add to the fantastic supply we already enjoy from PBS.”
Oli Harbottle, Head of Distribution at Dogwoof, commented: “I’m really pleased to be working with PBS America on Jesse’s film. It’s great to see increased broadcast opportunities open up here in the UK for documentaries, and the channel’s enthusiasm for the film has been really impressive. It’s a natural fit for this film, as the channel shows a different side of America to British viewers, not necessarily the Hollywood-ised version.”
While Jesse Vile, director of Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, added: “It’s a huge honour for me that the UK division of PBS, a channel which I have long admired as an American, has come on-board for the film. The channel should prove the perfect home for Jason’s story, and I am so happy it will now have the opportunity to be seen even more widely.”