HBO Buys Rights to Icelandic Autism Documentary Skip to content

HBO Buys Rights to Icelandic Autism Documentary

American television company HBO has bought the distribution rights to the Icelandic documentary The Sunshine Boy, directed by Fridrik Thór Fridriksson. The film, which features the autistic boy Keli, will premiere on one of HBO’s television channels.

According to Fréttabladid, the agreement with HBO was reached because of the efforts of actress and television presenter Rosie O’Donnell.

The film’s producer and Keli’s mother, Margrét Dagmar Ericsdóttir, said O’Donnell organized a meeting with HBO’s highest-ranking executives to recommend the film, which is almost unheard of.

“Rosie saw the film and was absolutely enchanted by it. It is unbelievable, of course, because Rosie is a big name in this country,” Ericsdóttir said, adding that she had no idea what kind of influence the media personality has.

HBO is planning to submit The Sunshine Boy for the preliminary Oscar selection for this year, which costs a lot of money, but the company’s executives are hoping that the Academy will like it.

Ericsdóttir said both O’Donnell and Kate Winslet, who did the English narration for the film, are going to contribute to its success. “They want to give these autistic children a voice and support the film when it premieres.”

The Sunshine Boy tells the story of Keli and his mother’s fight to understand autism and the hidden world in which autistic individuals live.

HBO, which belongs to the Warner family media empire, is among the largest television companies in the US and reaches more than 38 million subscribers.

Click here to read more about the documentary.

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