BuzzFeed's Rise to Internet Phenomenon Examined in Documentary

BuzzFeed’s Rise to Internet Phenomenon Examined in Documentary

BuzzFeed, the internet news site that popularized the listicle and broke major political and entertainment news, is the subject of an upcoming documentary from Kelsey Darragh, a former staffer and filmmaker.

The film, which is currently in production, is backed by producer and financier Bright West Entertainment, which previously made “Subject” and “Sirens.” The company has partnered with the Emmy Award-winning production team at Campfire Studios, makers of Hulu’s “WeWork” and HBO Max’s “Low Country,” on the project.

The filmmaker say they plan to track BuzzFeed’s “rapid ascent and dominance in the early days of viral video,” but it’s not all clicks and soaring traffic. The film will also look at the “chaotic and often criticized workplace environment” at BuzzFeed. The company went public in 2021 and its stock has had plummeted more than 80% since then.

The film has a personal connection. Darragh, the maker of an upcoming documentary feature “Rehumanize,” is also a former BuzzFeed development partner and producer.

“I’m hyped to connect with my former colleagues and delve into the glory days of BuzzFeed – including what happened when the buzz wore off,” said Darragh. “Our time there was very much a part of internet history and who better to tell the story than those who lived through all of the ‘LOL’ and ‘WTF’ moments? I’m eager to share perspectives from both behind and in front of the camera, and to work with Campfire and Bright West to bring the truth to life.”

The documentary will feature interviews with “born-on-BuzzFeed” internet faves Curly Velasquez, Essence Gant and Jazzmyne Robbins, forming BuzzFeed News Editor-In-Chief Ben Smith, forming Head of Social Media & Publishing Maycie Timpone, forming Senior Editor Sam Stryker and former Head of Video Ella Meilniczenko, among other insiders.

Campfire CEO Ross Dinerstein and Bright West President Alex Lieberman, who is financing the project, are producers; Campfire’s Rebecca Evans, Ross Girard and Mark McCune serve as executive producers.

“Most start-ups launch with the best of intentions and, as a fellow entrepreneur, I often find myself looking at what worked and what didn’t, and asking ‘why?’ said Dinerstein. “Plus, any opportunity to explore the intersection of business and pop culture immediately piques my interest.”

Added Lieberman, “Like everyone else, I was captivated by BuzzFeed and what it must have been like to work there during the height of their influence. I can’t wait for Buzzfeed’s eventual recap of the ’16 Most Iconic Moments’ from the new documentary.”

UTA and Cinetic Media are jointly representing the film.

Pictured: Alex Lieberman, Ross Dinerstein, Kelsey Darragh.

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