LOS ANGELES - July 21, 2016 – Samuel Goldwyn Films and CMT announced today that Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired North American rights from CMT for CHICKEN PEOPLE. The film, directed by Emmy-Nominated Nicole Lucas Haimes, and produced by Emmy Award Winner Motto Pictures, received its world premiere at the 2016 South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas and will continue its film festival run leading up to the theatrical release in late summer followed by an October On Demand and Digital release before premiering on CMT later this year. Having launched a dedicated documentary division in 2014, this marks the first theatrical run for a CMT Original doc.

In a world where a bent feather can mean a broken dream, CHICKEN PEOPLE is a real-life “Best in Show,” about chickens. Every November exotic poultry breeders from across America proceed to Columbus with the goal of winning the title of Grand Champion at the Ohio National Poultry Show. The film follows the struggles and triumphs of the men, women and the chickens they love, examining the daily lives of the breeders and how they’re shaped by their quest for perfect fowl. Subjects Brian Knox, Brian Caraker and Shari McCollough struggle to overcome life’s obstacles, not least of which is a nationwide outbreak of the Avian Flu. Can this put a stop to their dream of “Grand Champion of Show?”

Peter Goldwyn said this about CHICKEN PEOPLE: “Christopher Guest couldn’t have written this better. Not only are these chicken people/breeders passionate about their chickens, CHICKEN PEOPLE, at its heart, is a sweet and unique look into this type of competition that can be enjoyed with the whole family.”

“Chicken People is a wonderfully observant film that in the hands of these supremely talented filmmakers is loaded with humor and heart, along with a deep appreciation of how raising animals of any kind enriches one’s life,” said Jayson Dinsmore, executive vice president of development for CMT.

The film is Directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes; Produced by Terry Leonard, Caroline Kaplan, Christopher Clements, Julie Goldman; Executive Produced by Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach, John Miller-Monzon, Nicole Lucas Haimes and Co­Produced by Carolyn Hepburn and Diane Becker.

The deal was negotiated by Jill Karole and Peter Goldwyn, on behalf of Samuel Goldwyn Films, Anne Oakley, Jodi Carmichael, John Miller-Monzon and Sean Bangert of CMT Films, and Linzee Troubh of Cinetic.


Samuel Goldwyn Films is a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company that develops, produces and distributes innovative feature films and documentaries. The company is dedicated to working with both world-renowned and emerging writers/filmmakers and committed to filmed entertainment that offers original voices in uniquely told stories. This is best exemplified by the Academy Award® nominated THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and SUPER SIZE ME, AMAZING GRACE and Julie Delpy’s hit comedy 2 DAYS IN PARIS. Past Goldwyn titles include: HARRY BROWN starring Michael Caine, the box office smash FIREPROOF and the 2010 independent hit MAO'S LAST DANCER. Samuel Goldwyn Films also released THE WHISTLEBLOWER, a powerful, ripped-from-the-headlines thriller starring Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz, and the 2012 critics’ darling ROBOT & FRANK, starring Academy Award® nominee Frank Langella and Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon. Additional Samuel Goldwyn Films releases include: DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL; Gilles Bourdos’ RENOIR, the lush film about the famous painter's later years and France's official submission for the 2014 Academy Awards®; Jason Wise’s cult-hit film SOMM; 2015 Academy Foreign Language Film Award® nominee TANGERINES; the Israeli dark comedy THE FAREWELL PARTY; Sacha Jenkins’ FRESH DRESSED; the Sundance cult-hit LILA AND EVE starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez; Damon Gameau’s eye-opening THAT SUGAR FILM which takes on the sugar industry; and Morgan Matthews compelling drama A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND. Current Samuel Goldwyn Films releases include: Chris Bell’s expose PRESCRIPTION THUGS; Andrew Renzi’s Tribeca Film Festival favorite THE BENEFACTOR starring Richard Gere; the widely anticipated Jason Wise follow-up SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE; Toronto Film Festival’s Gala Presentation HYENA ROAD directed by Paul Gross; Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s octave-fueled documentary HAVANA MOTOR CLUB; Los Angeles Film Festival 2015 Audience Award recipient HOSTILE BORDER by co-Directors Michael Dyer & Kaitlin McLaughlin and Mark Sawer’s sci-fi mockumentary NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT.  Upcoming films include Ted Balaker’s docu CAN WE TAKE A JOKE? in which comedy and outrage collide and TRANSPECOS, the directorial debut and 2016 SXSW Audience Award Winner by Greg Kwedar.   

About CMT

CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT, and CMT Radio offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.

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For further information, please contact:
Melanie Miller, Samuel Goldwyn Films


Chicken People


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