One of the few films I’ve had a chance to see from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is Burt’s Buzz, a delightful character study of the co-founder and logo icon of Burt’s Bees brand personal care products. I knew it would find a good home given that its subject, Burt Shavitz, is one of the most lovable since Bill Cunningham. Sure enough, the doc has been picked up for U.S. distribution by FilmBuff. The company, best known for digital releases has announced a nonspecific early 2014 opening for both theatrical and VOD.
Burt’s Buzz is directed by Jody Shapiro (look for an interview with him later in the week), who says, “Knowing the importance that VOD now plays when releasing a documentary, I couldn’t be more excited to bring Burt’s unique story to both cinemas and homes across the US. I’m absolutely thrilled that Burt’s Buzz will now be part of the FilmBuff family.” Actress Isabella Rossellini, who has collaborated with Shapiro on multiple projects in the past, is one of the doc’s executive producers.
Here’s the current synopsis provided by FilmBuff:
Shapiro follows Burt from his modest home in Maine where he lives off the grid with the help of a wood-burning stove, to an airport in Taiwan where the bearded septuagenarian is greeted by hoards of adoring fans. In between the contrasts, lies a fascinating story of a drifter who happily followed any path he came across, and in his wake, spawned a billion dollar natural product line. From Burt’s early years as a gifted photo journalist, to his solitary life as a beekeeper, and then status as a global brand ambassador, the film is a fascinating study of one man’s ability to remain true to himself despite the pressures of a larger, influential world around him.