EXCLUSIVE: Burning Man made national headlines last weekend as shocking weather ravaged the desert campout arts festival and sent thousands searching for ways out of the playa.
From Chris Rock and Diplo hitching a ride out with a fan to a slew of Hollywood types and tech bros sludging through the mud after their private planes couldn’t reach them, it was a crazy year for the event, which has been running since 1986.
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So, it’s apt that there’s a docuseries – The Man Will Burn – in the works about the event.
Double Agent, a joint venture between Black Bear and New Regency that is behind Asif Kapadia’s next feature film 2073, Noujaim Films, which was behind Egyptian revolution doc The Square, and The Othrs, the production company behind HBO’s The Vow, are behind the series.
But it’s not just about 2023’s wild Burning Man.
The series will tell the definitive story of the festival, filmed over three years with the co-operation of the Burning Man Project, the non-profit behind it, and featuring archive from the last 30 years.
There have been other Burning Man docs, but this marks the first time that this group has had the official co-operation and archival footage.
Jehane Noujaim, who directed The Vow and The Great Hack, directs with Vikram Gandhi, who directed 69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez.
Production began in 2021 with the Renegade Burn during the pandemic, continued through the record-breaking heat and dust storms of the official return in 2022 and lasted through last weekend’s playa chaos.
The film will highlight how Burning Man went from a small function organized by Larry Harvey and Jerry James in San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 to the 80,000-person celebration in the desert it has become.
There are no networks or streamers currently attached but after being in the headlines, it’s not a bad time to start those conversations.
The project is co-financed by Double Agent, with Dana O’Keefe, Teddy Schwarzman, Michael Heimler, Yariv Milchan, Michael Schaefer and Gandhi executive producing alongside Noujaim, who is repped by is represented by Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Karim Amer, David Fialkow, Nina Fialkow, Farhad Mohit, Nushin Mohit, Lyn Lear, Geralyn Dreyfous, Kristin Ólafsdóttir and Thor Björgólfsson. Muriel Soenens will serve as the series showrunner, with Catie Bolt as a producer.
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