13 Aug 2019


London-based documentary specialists Dogwoof today announces the UK acquisition of The Amazing Johnathan Documentary, the debut feature from Ben Berman, which premiered in Sundance 2019. The all-rights deal brokered between Oli Harbottle, Head of Acquisitions and Distribution for Dogwoof and Stephen Joy, VP of Sales at Kew Media Distribution, on behalf of the filmmakers, will see a theatrical release in the UK from November with home entertainment following soon after.   

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary was directed and produced by Ben Berman (Tim & Eric, How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps); produced by Miranda Bailey (The Squid and the Whale, Swiss Army Man), Russell Wayne Groves (Balls Out, Dealt), Amanda Marshall (Swiss Army Man, Don’t Think Twice) and Jacob Perlin (Quarter Life Poetry); executive produced by Jason Beck (Don’t Think Twice, I Do… Until I Don’t), Jon Mugar (Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories) and Kirk Johnson (The Unicorn). The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is a Cold Iron Pictures, Anonymous Content and Horse Horse Horse Production. Featuring: Penn Jillette, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Eric Andre and The Amazing Johnathan.

"The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is one of the funniest feature docs in recent years and keeps audiences guessing with its myriad twists and turns right until the very end. Ultimately a self-reflective look at the documentary film-making process, we're working on some truly exciting plans to release the film here later in the year." Oli Harbottle, Dogwoof

“We’re really excited to bring this movie to the UK. Seems like the weirdness, darkness, and humor of this doc could find a great audience here. We’re very excited to be working with Dogwoof on our release and are looking forward to bringing you the film soon.” Ben Berman, Director.

The path of documentary filmmaking never does run smoothly, and we witness this first-hand as director Ben Berman attempts to make a feature on magician and comedian The Amazing Johnathan, who featured prominently on Comedy Central. What starts as a documentary following the ailing magician soon descends into a rabbit hole of false turns, many twists and revelation after revelation, which slowly unravels the unwitting Berman. Described by critics as “laugh out loud funny", The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is a surprising, charming and tender shaggy-dog-documentary about one filmmaker’s quest for truth.

About The Amazing Johnathan Documentary

It begins as a documentary about “The Amazing Johnathan,” a unique magician who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s - but becomes a bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian. After Johnathan is diagnosed with a terminal heart condition and given one year to live, he’s forced to retire his act. Cut to three years later: Johnathan is not dead, much to everyone’s amazement. Documentarian Ben Berman films the illusionist on an epic comeback tour, but as their mutual journey kicks off, Johnathan drops a bombshell that sends the film spiralling into uncertainty. Embracing this unforeseen obstacle, Ben delves deeper to determine what is truth and what is illusion. Built into the heart of this quick-witted and self-reflective story is an indelible commentary on the process and ethics of making a documentary today. Issues of negotiation and access become the central threads that reveal, and further cloud, our understanding of this elusive protagonist. This debut feature is a wild ride that careens off the rails in highly entertaining and unexpected ways.   

Press contact

Yung Kha

19-23 Ironmonger Row, London EC1V 3QN, UK | Tel: +44(0)20 7253 6244

Notes to editors


Founded in 2003 by Andy Whittaker, Dogwoof is a London-based, documentary film company integrating production, world sales and UK distribution. Dogwoof has so far released 24 Oscar®-nominated documentaries, with four wins and an additional three BAFTA winners; notable titles include Oscar®-winning and BAFTA-winning Free Solo (the UK's highest grossing documentary of 2018), BAFTA-nominated Three Identical Strangers, Oscar®-nominated RBG, BAFTA-winning The Act of Killing and Blackfish. Releases for 2019 have included Marianne & Leonard, Oscar®-nominated Minding the Gap and Apollo 11 which is currently the UK’s highest grossing doc of the year. Dogwoof's TDog production investment fund has premiered two films in Sundance Film Festival - Westwood and Halston - with more in the production and post-production stage; the fund is focused on feature docs, docu-series, and remake rights, gearing up the company towards vertical integration. 

About Kew Media Distribution

Kew Media Distribution, part of Kew Media Group, distributes a diverse catalogue of film, television and digital assets to broadcasters and viewing platforms across the world. Kew Media Distribution manages international rights to a library of over 11,000 hours of TV and digital content, including major drama series, non-fiction entertainment, special event programming, kids’ series, TV movies and mini-series. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.kewmedia