BuzzFeed, the online news site that made the list and publishes top political and entertainment stories, is the subject of an upcoming documentary by former contributor and director Kelsey Darragh.
The film, currently in production, is supported by producer and financier Bright West Entertainment, who previously produced The Subjects and Sirens. The company partners with Emmy Award-winning production team Campfire Studios, creators of Hulu's WeWork and HBO Max's Low Country.
The director says he plans to follow BuzzFeed's "rapid growth and dominance in the early days of viral video," but it's not just about clicks and spikes in traffic. The film will also explore BuzzFeed's "chaotic and much-criticised work environment." The company went public in 2021 and its shares have fallen more than 80% since then.
The movie has a personal connection. Darrag, creator of the upcoming documentary Rehumanize, was also a development partner and producer for BuzzFeed.
"I'm thrilled to connect with my former colleagues and delve into BuzzFeed's glory days, including what happened when the noise died down," said Darragh, who will direct the documentary. “Our time has been such a big part of internet history, and who better to witness all the LOL and WTF moments to tell the story? I can't wait to share my on-camera and off-camera view and work with Campfire and Bright West to bring the truth to life.”
The documentary will include interviews with Curly Velasquez, Essence Gant, Jazmin Robbins, former BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith, former director of social media and publishing Macy Timpon, former executive editor Sam Stryker and former head of the video division Al Meylnichenko, among other critics.
Camp Fire CEO Ross Dienerstein and Bright West President Alex Lieberman, who is funding the project, are producing; Campfire's Rebecca Evans and Ross Gerrard and Mark McCune serve as executive producers.
“Most startups start with the best intentions, and as a fellow entrepreneur, I often look at what worked and what didn’t and wonder ‘why? Plus, any opportunity to explore the intersection of business and popular culture intrigues me immediately.
Lieberman added, "Like everyone else, I was fascinated by BuzzFeed and what it was like working there at the height of its influence. I can't wait to see Buzzfeed's final report on the '16 Most Iconic Moments' from the new documentary."
UTA and Cinetic Media jointly present the film.
Pictured: Alex Lieberman, Ross Dinerstein, Kelsey Darragh.