Participant, studio behind Spotlight and An Inconvenient Truth, shutting down

16 April 2024, 21:34

Jeff Skoll
Film Participant Closes. Picture: PA

The activist film and TV studio released 135 films, 50 of which were documentaries and many of which were tied to awareness-raising impact campaigns.

Participant, the activist film and television studio that has financed Oscar winners such as Spotlight and socially conscious documentaries including Food, Inc and Waiting For Superman, is closing its doors after 20 years.

Billionaire Jeff Skoll told his staff of 100 in a memo shared with The Associated Press on Tuesday that they were winding down company operations.

“This is not a step I am taking lightly,” Mr Skoll wrote in the memo.

“But after 20 years of groundbreaking content and world-changing impact campaigns, it is the right time for me to evaluate my next chapter and approach to tackling the pressing issues of our time.”

Since Mr Skoll founded the company in 2004, Participant has released 135 films, 50 of which were documentaries and many of which were tied to awareness-raising impact campaigns.

Its films have won 21 Academy Awards, including best picture for Spotlight and Green Book, best documentary for An Inconvenient Truth and American Factory and best international feature for Roma.

Participant was behind films such as Contagion, Good Night, And Good Luck, Lincoln and Judas And The Black Messiah, the limited series When They See Us and also a sequel to its documentary Food, Inc, which it rolled out this month.

Its films have made more than 3.3 billion dollars (£2.6 billion) at the global box office.

But the company had a “double bottom line” in which impact was measured in addition to profit.

Mr Skoll stepped back from day-to-day operations of the company years ago.

Veteran film executive David Linde has been chief executive of Participant since 2015, during which it had its Green Book and Roma successes.

“I founded Participant with the mission of creating world-class content that inspires positive social change, prioritising impact alongside commercial sustainability,” Mr Skoll wrote.

“Since then, the entertainment industry has seen revolutionary changes in how content is created, distributed and consumed.”

Mr Skoll added that its legacy “will live on through our people, our stories and all who are inspired by them”.

By Press Association

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