Ahead of its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. television rights to doc How to Dance in Ohio.
The film, directed by Alexandra Shiva, centers on a group of young people with developmental challenges preparing for the spring formal in Columbus, Ohio. It will have its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 25 and will debut on HBO later in 2015.
The doc follows a group of teens on the autism spectrum who spend 12 weeks confronting and practicing their social skills as they prepare for the big event — a school dance.
How to Dance in Ohio is presented by Gidalya Pictures in association with BlumhouseProductions. Shiva and Bari Pearlman produced while Jason Blum executive produced.
How to Dance in Ohio is Shiva's third feature documentary. She also helmed Bombay Eunuch and Stagedoor, which premiered at SXSW in 2005 and aired on the Sundance Channel.
“A domestic broadcast on HBO will ensure that this film reaches the widest possible audience throughout the country and I am excited to be working with them to do that," said Shiva. "This is a film not only for the many whose lives are touched in some way by autism, but also for anyone who can relate to the fraught experience of growing up and trying to understand adulthood.”
The deal was negotiated by Andrew Herwitz, president of the Film Sales Company, on behalf of the filmmaker with HBO.