Greenwich Entertainment Acquires Barbara Kopple’s "Desert One" From History®

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Forty years later, one of the most daring military rescue attempts in US history is coming to the big screen. HISTORY® has licensed North American theatrical and select home entertainment rights for "Desert One" to Greenwich Entertainment.

Directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Barbara Kopple ("Harlan County USA" and "American Dream"), the documentary feature recounts the April 24/25, 1980 thrilling attempt to rescue 52 US citizens who were taken hostage by Iranian revolutionaries in Tehran. Following Greenwich's theatrical release, "Desert One" will be broadcast on HISTORY.

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"Desert One" is produced by Cabin Creek Films. Kopple produced and directed the film, with David Cassidy and Eric Forman serving as producers. The film includes a wealth of unearthed archival sources, as well as intimate interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, Ted Koppel, former hostages, journalists, and Iranian student revolutionaries who orchestrated the take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran. Evocative new animation and never before heard satellite phone recordings of President Carter talking to his generals as the mission unfolds, bring audiences closer than anyone has ever gotten to being on the inside for this history making operation.

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"Barbara Kopple is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers of our time, and we are thrilled to partner with Greenwich Entertainment to give 'Desert One' a theatrical release," said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General manager of HISTORY. "The film is an emotional and compelling look at a story that is not widely known, but has had a lasting impact on US foreign policy in the Middle East."

"This was a roller coaster ride of a story well worth telling," said director Barbara Kopple, "with important moments about American leadership and gumption and relations with Iran and courage in the face of adversity. I believe it's a film that could help inspire us in our troubled times. We need a lot of inspiration right now."

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"Desert One" premiered to rave reviews at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival followed by incredible reactions at AFI Fest and Double Exposure: Investigative Film Festival. Point of View Magazine said, "Kopple's latest film, Desert One, ranks among her best work."

"Desert One" is the story of Americans working together to overcome the most difficult problem of their lives. When radical Islamists take fifty-two American diplomats and citizens hostage inside Iran, Carter secretly green-lights the training for a rescue mission. America's Special Forces soldiers also find themselves in uncharted territory, planning a top-secret rescue of unprecedented scale and complexity. Driven by deep empathy toward the kidnapped Americans, the heart-pounding and unforeseen events the rescue team participated in will forever unite them. 

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The film also presents Iranian perspectives on this important moment in their history. A female Iranian crew filmed overlooked accounts inside that country, one from a man who had been an 11-year-old boy riding a bus through the desert on the night of the mission. As tensions once again rise between the governments of Iran and the U.S., old wounds remain painfully current for many who poignantly detail their recollections in "Desert One."

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of OPERATION EAGLE CLAW, Cabin Creek Films, HISTORY, and Greenwich Films are holding a virtual screening of "Desert One" for select members of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) community.

On 24 April 1980, a battlefield promise was made to 17 American children. They were left fatherless when 8 Airmen and Marines made the ultimate sacrifice at a remote landing strip called "Desert One" in the failed attempt to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The surviving members of Operation Eagle Claw, those who had the guts to try, promised those 17 children that they would be taken care of. 40 years later, that promise transformed into the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). 

Today, if a US Special Operations Warrior makes the ultimate sacrifice, SOWF fulfills its solemn promise to fund surviving children's education from "cradle to career. Today, SOWF supports more than 890 children and students across the nation. 

Cinetic Media negotiated the "Desert One" deal for Greenwich Entertainment. 

"Desert One" is produced by Cabin Creek Films. Barbara Kopple is producer and director. David Cassidy and Eric Forman are producers for Cabin Creek Films. Eli Lehrer and Zachary Behr are Executive Producers for HISTORY.

HISTORY®, now reaching more than 96 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network's all-original programming slate features a roster of signature series including "Pawn Stars," "American Pickers," "The Curse of Oak Island," "Alone" as well as the hit drama series "Vikings" and "Knightfall." The HISTORY website is located at Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

About Greenwich Films
Founded in 2017, Greenwich Entertainment is an independent film distribution company specializing in distinctive, theatrical-quality narrative and documentary features. In 2018, Greenwich handled the record setting theatrical release of Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi's Academy Award-Winning Documentary Free Solo, which grossed over $17M at the North American box office. In 2019, Greenwich released two of top the documentary hits of the year with Andrew Slater's Echo in the Canyon ($3.3M) and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice ($4M) from Oscar winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Recent narrative releases include Isabel Coixet's The Bookshop starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy and Madeleine Olnek's Wild Nights with Emily starring Molly Shannon. Upcoming releases include James Erskine's Billie and Ebs Burnough's The Capote Tapes. Greenwich is led by an experienced management team that has overseen more than 150 theatrical releases generating over $100 million at the US box office and garnering 8 Oscar Nominations.

About Cabin Creek Films
Cabin Creek Films is a production company run from offices in New York City founded and overseen by Barbara Kopple. We have partnered with Discovery, HBO, OWN Network, Viacom, Sony, Starz, TCM, ABC, Sprint, Dove, American Greetings, and many others. Theatrical films include Gigi Gorgeous: This Is Everything, Miss Sharon Jones!, Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation, Shut Up & Sing, Havoc starring Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, My Generation, Wild Man Blues, American Dream and Harlan County USA among many others. Nonfiction productions for television include Killing the Colorado (Discovery), Shelter (Al Jazeera America), Running From Crazy (OWN), Gun Fight (HBO), The House of Steinbrenner (ESPN 30 For 30), Woodstock: Now and Then (History), The D.C. Sniper's Wife (TruTV), A Conversation with Gregory Peck (PBS American Masters), Fallen Champ: The Mike Tyson Story (NBC), Friends for Life: Living with AIDS (Disney), the ABC docu-series The Hamptons, and episodes of hit series Oz and Homicide: Life on the Streets. Cabin Creek Films has received numerous awards for excellence and continues to reach audiences around the world with compelling documentaries that reveal the extraordinary in everyday life.

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