Netflix Acquires ‘Bridegroom,’ A Documentary Inspired by a YouTube Video
Netflix has acquired the rights to stream “Bridegroom,” an award-winning documentary film from producer Shane Bitney Crone and writer/director Laura Bloodworth-Thomason.
The documentary tells the story of Crone and his lover Tom, “two young men in a loving and committed relationship that was cut short by a tragic accident.” The film also focuses on what happened after Tom’s passing, highlighting the issues of marriage equality and human rights that homosexual couples face to this day. It will be available to all Netflix streaming customers on October 27.
Crone, in his own way, is not a stranger to YouTube. Following the death of his partner, Crone created a YouTube video to show the impact of marriage inequality, a video that went on to earn four million views. Catching the attention of Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the classic ‘90s CBS sitcom “Designing Women,” the two worked together to turn the YouTube video into a feature-length documentary.
“Bridegroom” won the Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, the 2013 Toronto Inside Out Film Festival, and the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival. It also won Outstanding Documentary Feature at the 2013 Outfest in LA.
“Tom and Shane were each other’s first and only loves,” said Bloodworth-Thomason in a statement. “They are devoted, hardworking, unassuming and funny. Each is from a small town and each, in his own way, is imbued with the best kind of small town values. They are, in fact, the sort of young people who hold within themselves the promise of America. And that is why I want to bring to life, on film, this real life Romeo and Romeo — so that all who condemn them, might come face to face with exactly what it is they are opposing.”
In its Q2 earnings report, Netflix said it would expand its originals strategy to include stand-up specials and documentaries. The service has already signed exclusive deals with top comedians like Aziz Ansari and Russell Peters to exclusively offer their upcoming stand-up specials. Last month, the service picked up a documentary film from Bloomberg Businessweek about the recent global financial crisis. “Hank: Five Years from the Brink” premiered on Netflix on September 16.
Here is Crone’s YouTube video, titled “It Could Happen to You”: