A documentary on counterculture icon and environmentalist Stewart Brand will get a U.S. release via Greenwich Entertainment.
The indie distributor has bought the long-gestating “We Are As Gods,” from the directors of the 2017 Bill Nye documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg. The documentary, which premiered at SXSW in 2021, will be released in New York and Los Angeles on Aug. 12.
“We Are As Gods” is a deep dive into the many sides of Brand — the Zelig-like creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, an influential member of Ken Kesey’s “The Merry Pranksters,” and an early activist in the modern environmental movement. Brand coined the phrase “personal computer” and influenced many Silicon Valley heavyweights, including Steve Jobs. Now in his 80s, Brand looks to leave a legacy for the future with his efforts to rewild ecosystems by resurrecting extinct species. But, as revealed in the film, his former allies believe he’s gone too far.
Alvarado and Sussberg said of the deal: “With our partners at Greenwich Entertainment, we’re thrilled to bring Stewart Brand’s extraordinary story into movie theaters and homes across America. Stewart is an amazing subject for a documentary — a showman whose grand projects are responsible for shifting humanity’s perspective on Earth, time, and now life itself. Stewart gave us filmmakers unfettered access to his life for the last three-plus years, and access to 50-plus years of never-seen-before archival material. The result is a cinematic experience of the amazing life of this towering figure.”
Greenwich co-president Ed Arentz added: “David and Jason have created a vastly entertaining bio-doc of a true American original. For those who remember his counter-culture bible ‘The Whole Earth Catalog’ to those who were inspired by his ideas about the emerging world of computing and technology and to those excited by his latest species de-extinction crusade, we know audiences will be entranced by the long, strange trip of Stewart Brand.”
“We Are As Gods” was completed in March 2020 and set to screen at Austin festival SXSW before the pandemic struck and the event was swiftly called off. Alvarado and Sussberg wrote a popular, widely distributed column for Variety about their experience as some of the first filmmakers to be directly affected by the COVID-19 crisis in its earliest days.