superyacht documentary

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Cnn’s alisyn camerota reports on “superyachts and the super rich” for the whole story with anderson cooper.

EPISODE PREMIERES SUNDAY, JANUARY 28 AT 8PM ET/PT

Promo:   https://youtu.be/z1VKpHkq054

NEW YORK, NY – (January 22, 2024) – The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper , a CNN Original, returns with an inside look into the exclusive and luxurious world of the ultra-wealthy at sea. “Superyachts and the Super Rich” premieres on Sunday, January 28 at 8pm ET/PT.

CNN Anchor/Correspondent Alisyn Camerota journeys to Monaco, the richest country in the world per capita, during the annual Monaco Yacht Show, one of the greatest concentrations of wealth in the world and a major annual event for the ten billion dollar a year yachting industry. Camerota tours some of the largest superyachts in existence and speaks to owners, captains, crew and industry leaders to examine the appeal of these floating islands, what it takes to build and maintain these symbols of extreme wealth, their environmental impact and the symbolism it holds for the world’s economic divide.

“Before this assignment, I couldn’t imagine the level of opulence and wealth we’d find – I’d never seen floors made of wood from a 16th Century monastery or wallpaper made of Italian leather,” said Camerota. “But what most surprised me was the universal desire for more – bigger, newer, more extravagant yachts – from the richest people in the world, telling us that even huge superyachts aren’t enough.”

In this episode, Camerota also reports on how superyachts are now a matter of geopolitical concern. As the U.S. and European countries seized more than a dozen vessels allegedly belonging to Russian oligarchs, leaving American taxpayers on the hook to shell out millions of dollars in maintenance and upkeep.

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper is executive produced by Susan Chun.

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper will stream live for pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN connected TV and mobile apps on Sunday, January 28. “Superyachts and the Super Rich” will also be available on demand beginning Monday, January 29 to pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN connected TV and mobile apps, and Cable Operator Platforms. Past episodes of The Whole Story are available to stream on demand now on Max.

The Whole Story is also available as a CNN Audio showcast. Visit CNN.com/audio or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

About CNN Worldwide

CNN Worldwide is the most honored brand in cable news, reaching more individuals through television, streamingand online than any other cable news organization in the United States. Globally, people across the world can watch CNN International, which is widely distributed in over 200 countries and territories. CNN Digital is the #1 online news destination, with more unique visitors than any other news source. Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming platform, features CNN Max, a 24/7 streaming news offering available to subscribers alongside expanded access to News content and CNN Originals. CNN’s award-winning portfolio includes non-scripted programming from CNN Original Series and CNN Films for broadcast, streaming and distribution across multiple platforms. CNN programming can be found on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español channels, via CNN Max and the CNN Originals hub on discovery+ and via pay TV subscription on CNN.com, CNN apps and cable operator platforms. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with over 1,000 local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is a division of Warner Bros. Discovery.

About Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, Max, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Film Group, Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit http://www.wbd.com .

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Secrets of the Superyachts

Documentary following the 'birth' of a new, 65-metre luxury vessel called Life Saga - designed, sold and captained by the best of British boaters. Documentary following the 'birth' of a new, 65-metre luxury vessel called Life Saga - designed, sold and captained by the best of British boaters. Documentary following the 'birth' of a new, 65-metre luxury vessel called Life Saga - designed, sold and captained by the best of British boaters.

  • Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond

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  • August 21, 2020 (United Kingdom)
  • United Kingdom
  • Channel 5 (United Kingdom)
  • Secrets of the Luxury Super Yachts
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Britain's Biggest Superyachts: Chasing Perfection

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Sunseeker’s Superyacht ZOZO Stars in BBC2 Documentary

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By Rebecca Bradbury   14 April 2016

A BBC2 documentary entitled ‘Britain’s Biggest Superyachts: Chasing Perfection’, which follows the build of the 40m/131ft superyacht ZOZO at the  Sunseeker shipyard, will air on Friday 15 April at 9pm.

The hour-long documentary follows the entire build process of   ZOZO , Sunseeker’s first 40-metre flagship build costing £20 million.

Shot over 10 months, from the yacht’s initial conception to her launch, the footage reveals what life is like at the shipyard’s extraordinary production line in Poole as they battle against the clock to complete the custom build.

Fascinating scenes unveil the process behind Sunseeker’s unique bespoke service, which allows the owner to tailor every element of the interior design and layout.

In other parts of the show, the BBC crew follows members of Sunseeker’s sales team as they head to the London Boat Show.

motor yacht ZOZO launching at the London Boat Show

Sunseeker is Britain’s biggest superyacht builder, who has been hand-building customised boats for the past 50 years. Today the company employs a team of over 2,000 highly skilled designers, engineers and master craftsmen.  

ZOZO premiered earlier this year at the London Boat Show and boasts a number of exclusive details such as feature glass in the master suite, salon and skylounge for a light and airy atmosphere, and a lengthened upper deck and sundeck.     

Although ZOZO will only be available for private use, there are a number of Sunseeker builds that are available for charter. Launched in early 2016, the 40m/131ft  superyacht JACOZAMI is another build from the 131 series and boasts an elegant yet contemporary interior and well-equipped outdoor areas.

Shot over 10 months, from the yacht’s initial conception to her launch, the footage reveals what life is like at the shipyard’s extraordinary production line

superyacht THUMPER at charter in the Mediterranean

Also launched this year, is the 47m/155ft superyacht ‘Princess AVK’ . Part of the 155 range, she is the largest yacht yet from the UK shipyard and among her highlights are a soothing beach house style interior, a sauna and shower in the beach club, and expansive deck spaces perfect for entertaining.

Likewise, the 40m/131ft superyacht THUMPER is sure to wow charter guests. Custom-designed, she features a stylish Miami Beach feel, unique artwork and unusual side balconies.

For further information on chartering a Sunseeker yacht, please contact your preferred charter broker .

Alternatively, take a look at all Sunseeker yachts available for charter .

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Top 10 must-see sailing documentaries

  • Stef Bottinelli

From Deep Water to Maidentrip, these must-see sailing documentaries will keep you glued to the screen. Watch the trailers here

superyacht documentary

Released in 2008 and nominated for a prestigious Cesar Award for Best Documentary Film, Tabarly is based on the life of  French yachtsman Eric Tabarly who lost his life after falling overboard from his Pen Duick boat off the coast of Wales in June 1998. He was en route to the Fife regatta in Scotland.

Released in 2013, Maidentrip tells the story of New Zealand-born Dutch teen Laura Dekker, who set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handedly. Dekker had to fight a Dutch court to be allowed to pursue her dream at such a young age. Finally, in August 2010, she set sail on her epic journey onboard her two-masted ketch and arrived, 5,600 nautical miles later, at Simpson Bay on St Maarten in January 2012 – breaking the world record. She was only 16 years and four months of age.

Racing Around the World Alone

This exhilarating 2010 documentary follows 30 hopeful skippers who take part in the 2008/2009 Vendée Globe race, the single-handed, non stop race around the world without assistance.

Red Dot on the Ocean: The Matt Rutherford Story

This inspiring 2014 documentary tells the story of Matt Rutherford, once a rebellious youth, who bought a sailing boat on the internet without inspecting it first, learnt to sail by himself and at the age of 21 attempted the dangerous voyage to become the first person to sail alone and nonstop around North and South America. Matt’s adventure started in Annapolis, Maryland, where he returned having achieved his goal 309 days later. The documentary is available to buy on Amazon Prime, Vimeo and Apple iTunes.

Robin Knox-Johnston: A Force of Nature

This BBC documentary was broadcast in June 2018 to mark 50 years since  Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set sail from Falmouth to win the original Golden Globe Race thus becoming the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world half a century before. With interviews and original footage, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: A Force of Nature is a fantastic documentary about one of the most legendary British sailors of all times. 

Jean Du Sud Around The World

1984 film Jean Du Sud Around the World tells the story of sailor Yves Gélinas’s solo 28,000 miles circumnavigation aboard his Alberg 30 sloop, Jean-du-Sud. He sails from France to Quebec via the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.Gélinas shot the 16 mm film in order to share his experience with fellow sailors, especially the use of his self-steering gear. The film was awarded the Palme D’Or twice and has now been re-released in HD.

Taking Flight: Britain’s America’s Cup Challenge

Sir Ben Ainsle Land Rover BAR America's Cup

Sir Ben Ainslie wants to bring the America’s Cup to Britain. Credit: Lloyd Images

The documentary, shown on the BBC on 23 July 2016, follows Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team as they prepare to try and win sport’s oldest international trophy – the America’s Cup . Narrated by presenter Clare Balding, the screening of the documentary coincided with the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth on 22-24 July.

Narrated by Tilda Swinton and using original 16mm footage, tape recordings and interviews this brilliant 2006 documentary recounts the story of Donald Crowhurst and his fatal attempt to win the first Golden Globe Race in 1968.

Not a skilled yachtsman, Crowhurst entered the race with his boat Teignmouth Electron,  intending to use the prize money to support his failing business. As the weeks went on, he eventually abandoned the race and reported false positions to race organisers, leading everyone to believe he was winning the race, when really he was in last place. His yacht   was later found drifting and recovered logbooks indicate that he’d suffered a mental breakdown due to the pressure and the sailor had jumped overboard. The race was eventually won by Robin Knox-Johnston who donated the prize money to Crowhurst’s widow. Available on YouTube and Amazon Prime.

School teacher Dee Caffari and Spanish veterinarian Anna Corbella join forces in fulfilling the dream of a lifetime: becoming professional sailors. Beyond 360 documents their story as they team up to compete in the Barcelona World Race 2010. Available on Amazon Prime.

Released on 8 March 2019 to coincide with International Women’s Day, Maiden  is a feature length documentary on Tracy Edwards.

The film tells the story of 24 year-old Edwards, a cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

Tracy Edwards had her first Whitbread Round the World Race experience working in the galley of the boat Atlantic Privateer. She enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to take part as a skipper and three years later she bought the 58ft yacht Maiden. Edwards put together an all – and first – female crew and entered the race. The crew went on to win two of the Whitbread legs and came second in class overall.

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Superyacht Australia

‘australia indepth’ documentary series.

Superyacht Australia, in partnership with superyachts.com is pleased to present ‘Australia InDepth’, a series of informative short documentary films on the vast and incredible destinations on offer when cruising in Australian waters and the world-class service capabilities available to support visiting vessels.

Produced and released as two separate series – ‘An Infinite Charter Destination’ and ‘The Superyacht Hub’ – these stunning and informative videos are a must-watch for Captains and owners when planning a visit down under. Both series include interviews with some of Australia’s superyacht industry key spokespeople, including Ian Malouf, Ahoy Club; Joachim Howard, Ocean Alliance; David Good, Superyacht Australia and Philippa Harrison, Tourism Australia.

Series 1 – An Infinite Charter Destination

Episode 1 – ‘the ultimate charter experience’.

Series 1, Episode 1   ‘An Infinite Charter Destination’ , focuses on the diverse cruising experiences in Australia and the surrounding South Pacific region. The first episode provides a holistic overview of the new charter possibilities in Australia, exploring an all-year-round cruising destination.

Episode 2 – ‘Great Reef Adventures’

Dive into Australia’s world-renowned reef destinations as we begin our journey by visiting the country’s underwater wonders.

Episode 3 – ‘An Explorer’s Playground’

‘An Explorer’s Playground’ showcases Australia’s rugged and remote regions. A natural fit for swashbuckling explorer yachts and guests with a heightened sense of adventure, Australia is blessed with regions of untouched natural splendor and enchanting culture. From the Kimberley down to Tasmania, this episode focuses on superyacht itineraries filled with exhilarating activities, wildlife encounters, and insight from a proud ancient culture.

Episode 4 – ‘Iconic City Thrills’

‘Iconic City Thrills’ , takes you to Australia’s breathtaking cities of Sydney and Melbourne.  Here, superyachts are placed at the heart of some of the world’s best shows, events, and cultural attractions. 

Sydney is famed for its harbour lifestyle, particularly popular on New Year’s Eve, however there is much more to experience throughout the region on longer-term charters. A short cruise up to Pittwater and superyachts can access an area of pristine natural beauty and on-water adventure.

Melbourne’s year-round calendar of events is perhaps one of the most enticing of any city in the world. As Australia’s sporting and culture capital, there are plenty of drawcards for superyachts. From the centrally located Superyacht Marina, yachts are within minutes from attractions like the Grand Prix, Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup.

Episode 5 – ‘South East Queensland’

In this episode, we look into Australia’s thriving superyacht hub – South East Queensland.

Between the cruising grounds of Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are well-frequented by superyachts for their world-class marinas and shipyards. Here, there are plenty of reasons for Captains, Owners, and crews to stay and play.

Episode 6 – ‘Luxury Escapes’

With such a diverse range of experiences throughout Australia, it is important to understand the key drivers behind each group. This episode, we are joined by the luxury experts as we uncover the country’s premium experiences both on land and the water.

Episode 7 – ‘The South Pacific’

Even more than its own diverse cruising grounds, Australia is a launch pad for further adventures throughout the South Pacific. In Episode 7, we uncover the thrilling experiences available for superyachts in the wider South Pacific region, visiting Tahiti, Fiji, and New Zealand. As an alternative yachting season to the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the South Pacific is increasingly sought after by Owners and guests embracing an adventurous spirit.

Series 2 – The Superyacht Hub

Episode 1 – ‘a refit capital’  .

Series 2, Episode 1 ‘A Refit Capital’ conveys Australia’s booming refit and maintenance industry that provides visiting superyachts with access to world-class shipyards and marinas to meet all their service requirements.

Episode 2 – ‘Custom Creations’

Custom Creations showcases Australia’s proud heritage as a shipbuilding nation, as we hear from the builders, designers, and specialised trades that make up this an innovative industry.

Across the world, there is a huge demand and value placed on premium Australian-made products. From legendary designers and superyachts of the past, to modern icons Bold and White Rabbit, Australia has carved out its place as an industry innovator.

Episode 3 – ‘Infrastructure and Innovation’

This episode looks at the key developments that are enhancing Australia’s capacity to cater to larger superyachts. As has been the case throughout history, innovation is a cornerstone of the Australian superyacht industry. Hear from the people whose vision, expertise, and passion are driving the country’s major projects.

From the infrastructure boom spurred on by the Queensland government’s Superyacht Strategy, to new facilities emerging in the Northern Territory, and upgrades to award-winning facilities in Western Australia, Australia has future-proofed its status as a global superyacht hub.

Episode 4 – ‘Reaching Paradise’

There has never been a more exciting time to bring your superyacht to Australia.  In the episode  ‘ Reaching Paradise’ , Australia’s superyacht experts offer guidance on accessing the thrilling cruising experiences Down Under.

Accessing Australia has never been easier, whether through a yacht transport service or by embracing a journey full of adventure and lasting memories.

Engaging the right local expertise is important to ensure your voyage is as seamless as possible, allowing you to focus on enjoying the unique experiences and letting the country’s wealth of yachting experts look after the rest.

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D’albora expands qld network with new purchase in australia’s largest small-boat harbour, 125 years of pantaenius – founded on trust, australia indepth documentary.

superyacht documentary

Superyacht Australia in partnership with superyachts.com is pleased to present ‘Australia InDepth’, a series of informative short documentary films on the vast and incredible destinations on offer when cruising in Australian waters and the world-class service capabilities available to support visiting vessels..

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Click on the link below to see what jobs are now available.

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Billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg spend six figures a year maintaining their superyachts. Here's how.

  • Superyachts  are one of the most expensive assets money can buy.
  • The true cost of ownership is even more, adding up to millions a year.
  • Here's how much it costs to own a superyacht — and what that money is going toward.

Financial advisors are quick to warn prospective owners that a boat is nothing more than a hole in the water in which to throw money. When it comes to superyachts , you'd better have bags and bags of cash.

As one luxury agent told Business Insider at the Palm Beach International Boat Show: "Buying a boat, it's a huge purchase — and nobody needs a yacht."

A superyacht, generally over 30 meters long, is one of the most expensive assets money can buy, with the largest costing more than a lot of real estate or a private jet. Billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs each spent nine figures on their megayachts.

That doesn't include operating costs. Owners should expect to pay about 10% of a yacht's new-build price each year, experts told Business Insider. That's tens of millions of dollars annually for the most luxurious boats.

"It's a small-to-medium-sized business in its own right," said Jeffrey Beneville, a senior vice president at insurance company NFP, where he specializes in consulting clients about yachts.

Unlike many smaller boats, superyachts need staff, not just a captain. Some superyachts have space for dozens of crewmembers , including a chef, engineer, and masseuse for the guests onboard. Each gets an annual salary — the highest-ranking members earn six figures — and benefits. Eric Schmidt's yacht fits a crew of 28 for a ratio of about two crewmembers per guest.

Then there's fuel, dockage fees, routine maintenance, and insurance. The latter hinges on everything from the reputation of a yacht's shipyard to where an owner wants to take it (if a vessel is taking frequent trips to the South China Sea, for example, expect to pay a higher premium). If a superyacht has a support yacht — or a support superyacht, in Bezos ' case — expect to pay another 10% of that boat's price annually.

"The cost to maintain a yacht is so high that they just think that money's getting lit on fire," Matthew Fleissig, the CEO of wealth management firm Pathstone, told BI of his clients who choose to charter rather than own.

One of his firm's clients who does own has a 23-meter yacht valued at $5.2 million. The annual cost to staff, maintain, dock, and insure the boat is $346,297, according to documentation provided to BI. The lion's share is spent on marina fees ($95,970) and maintenance work ($88,408.) While not exactly a Sunfish, that boat is too small to count as a superyacht.

At 106 meters, the Amadea, owned by a sanctioned Russian oligarch , definitely does. The $300 million yacht, which was seized in 2022 and is docked in San Diego, cost $922,000 a month to maintain, a court filing showed: $360,000 for crew salaries, $75,000 for fuel, $144,000 for insurance, $178,000 in dry-docking fees, and $165,000 for maintenance, waste removal, food for the crew, and miscellaneous expenses.

"And that's an inactive yacht that's in the water," NFP's Beneville said.

If it were operational and carrying guests, the costs would be about twice that, or between $20 million and $30 million a year, he added.

Of course, it makes more financial sense for the non-obsessives to charter, and many of Fleissig's clients do. And some owners choose to offer their yachts for charter — the most luxurious cost as much as $1 million a week — to offset the costs.

"If you charter the boat for 50 days a year, it's going to help a lot," Anders Kurtén, the CEO of brokerage firm Fraser Yachts, told BI.

Then again, the running costs don't matter as much at a certain point. "If you're worth $30 billion, it's nothing. And if you're worth $117 billion — and these are the guys we're talking about — they're in it as long as it's still enjoyable for them," Beneville said. "It's not a money thing."

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‘Building Green Giants’ takes an explorative journey in assessing the role of the superyacht industry in building bigger, greener and more eco-efficient works of art now than ever before.

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MoviePass co-founders speak their truth in HBO’s new documentary 

Stacy Spikes

HBO’s new documentary, “MoviePass, MovieCrash,” tells a story that many of us know about: how MoviePass, the subscription-based movie ticketing startup, was a catastrophic failure. After a series of mishaps and deception , it filed for bankruptcy in 2020. 

However, the movie also tells the underreported tale of two Black men who aimed to disrupt the moviegoing space but were then thrown out of the company and forced to watch from the sidelines as their creation burned to the ground.

Mitch Lowe, a former Redbox and Netflix executive, and Ted Farnsworth, CEO of analytics and consulting company Helios & Matheson, are often considered the faces of MoviePass. However, neither of them deserves credit. MoviePass was originally co-founded by former Miramax exec Stacy Spikes and serial entrepreneur Hamet Watt.

The premiere of “MoviePass, MovieCrash,” which is available on Max starting today, comes at a time when only 2.7% of U.S. businesses are majority Black-owned, according to recent estimates from the Annual Business Survey . Spikes hopes this documentary will shed light on his perspective and underscore the necessity of increased funding for Black founders.

“The truth is going to be told,” Spikes told TechCrunch. He added that the documentary is not only about “the rise and fall of MoviePass,” but also addresses the fact that we’re still in the early days of venture capitalists’ mindsets changing and that “more women and founders of color” are being accepted. 

( We recommend watching the documentary before reading this article. )

When Lowe was first brought on as CEO in 2016, MoviePass had already existed for five years. It was initially a membership where customers got their own debit card that automatically loaded with the exact amount of a movie ticket. Customers selected the film they wanted to see within the MoviePass app. However, user growth wasn’t where it needed to be — the service was hovering at around 20,000 subscribers. 

The company also needed more money, yet it faced the harsh reality of the disparity in venture capital funding for Black-owned companies. To this day, a minuscule portion of funding goes to Black founders. In 2023, Black founders in the U.S. raised 0.48% of all venture capital, so about $661 million out of the $136 billion allocated in total. This number was the lowest recorded in recent history, with Black founders typically making up at least 1% of all venture dollars deployed. 

Ultimately, the founders thought that bringing on a “white male with grey hair” would inspire other white males to be “more comfortable” investing, Watt shared in the documentary. A year after Lowe joined, Helios & Matheson bought a controlling stake in MoviePass for $27 million .

superyacht documentary

“You had these seasoned founders who knew what they were doing and had a lot of success and yet hit a ceiling with being able to raise capital. Then you have two white guys who can raise $150 million off the very same brand,” Spikes told us. He took the role of chief operating officer until 2018. Watt remained a member of the board. 

MoviePass quickly shifted gears under its new owner. To draw in as many customers as possible, the company lowered the subscription fee significantly to $10 per month for one movie every day. The price change attracted approximately 175,000 users in 48 hours, giving the service mainstream prominence. By 2018, it had skyrocketed to over 3 million subscribers . 

“The $10 price was supposed to be promotional. We were only going to put 100,000 people at that level. The moment [Lowe and Farnsworth] said they didn’t want to turn that off was a big red flag because $10 is not a sustainable price. It’s just not,” Spikes added, explaining that the average ticket price was $11.50 at the time, so customers going to multiple movies per week cost the company tons of money.

In fact, MoviePass was losing millions of dollars every month. It lost $40 million in May 2018 alone.

Spikes’ warnings to Lowe and Farnsworth were ignored, and MoviePass fired him in 2018, he says. Watt was also let go. 

“Mitch and Ted would push back and say, ‘We know what we’re doing. We bought you. Thank you for sharing,’” Spikes said in the documentary. “It broke my heart to see two Black founders create a company the way we did, and then all of a sudden, there was an all-white board.” 

“He just wasn’t being a constructive member of the team,” Lowe said.

Attempts to reach Lowe and Farnsworth for comment were unsuccessful.

superyacht documentary

Later on, MoviePass went back on its unlimited movie promise and began limiting its offering to three movies a month. The company also tried alternate revenue streams like selling data to advertisers, producing movies via an in-house studio and even a bizarre venture into the airline business. 

From extravagant yacht parties to frivolous spending of $1.1 million on an unnecessary Coachella event, the spending spree exemplified an outrageous level of corporate greed.

When speaking about the Coachella event, Lowe said, “I sensed a resentment by the MoviePass employees [who weren’t invited.] Each individual has their various roles and not all roles get to party.”

“I’m sitting at home and in my Twitter feed, here’s Dennis Rodman getting out of a MoviePass helicopter at Coachella… [They’re] burning through money. The staff is suffering…It doesn’t make any sense,” Spikes said during our interview. 

Meanwhile, customer support workers and other MoviePass team members were dealing with a sinking ship as the site faced repeated outages and angry customers. (Spikes claimed in a previous interview with TechCrunch that those crashes were intentional.) In the summer of 2019, a data breach exposed tens of thousands of MoviePass card numbers as well as customers’ personal credit card numbers.

In its short years under Lowe and Farnsworth, MoviePass crumbled. The two executives are currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to one count of securities fraud and three counts of wire fraud. 

Spikes, meanwhile, managed to turn his story around. He purchased MoviePass in 2021 and relaunched it last year. It appears to be successful so far as it became profitable for the first time in 2023. 

During the interview with TechCrunch, Spikes also mentioned details that didn’t make it in HBO’s new film, such as building a VR app for MoviePass viewers to watch movie trailers on Meta Quest and Apple Vision Pro headsets. He’s hoping for a summer launch.  

Watt founded his own venture capital firm, Share Ventures , in 2019, which invests in healthcare and tech companies.

The revamped MoviePass goes nationwide

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There's an intriguing link.

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During our interview, Glen Powell reflected on how far back his connections with the Navy go, with his grandfather being a flight surgeon for the military branch. The actor continued by sharing that he had a chance to see a Blue Angels show in his home state of Texas as a kid. He even had a signed poster of the squadron on his wall until he left for college. And, more recently, as a producer of The Blue Angels , he spoke about boarding the project, sharing these sentiments with us:

It was after Top Gun and it was while I was shooting Devotion that I was connected with my buddy Brian Ferguson, who's the liaison between Top Gun the institution and Top Gun the movie, told me that they were trying to put a Blue Angels doc together. They were having some issues and he said, ‘Would you mind talking to Boss Wooldridge?’ He's the most legendary boss in The Blue Angels history. And I said, ‘Absolutely.’ So we started talking about his vision for it. And then as we were talking, I realized, I had really formed an amazing community on Top Gun and Devotion with the Navy, and I'd really known all of these people through that process when we lived on all these naval bases.

As the A-lister explained, he was approached about making the documentary after his work on Maverick and Devotion . First, he had the chance to speak to the three-time Blue Angels leader, Greg “Boss” Wooldridge. Overall, it goes without saying that he's become well-entrenched in this world of flying. As he continued:  

So I kind of knew all the important figures that would be necessary. And, Kevin LaRosa and Evan Fitzmaurice who were the aerial coordinators on Top Gun, and I learned so much about the evolution of IMAX technology and how it's gotten smaller and smaller where you could actually put these IMAX cameras on these planes and not affect the airworthiness. So it was like all of a sudden as I was talking to Boss, I was, I was starting to realize that there was a technological moment for this thing where we really could give audiences something unprecedented. And so it started developing. And, when JJ Abrams got on board it really opened it up in a completely different way where we really, in addition to having the human side to learning about these Blue Angels pilots and what life looks like for them, 300 days on the road a year, taking this show all around the world, we also got a chance to blow audiences mind and put 'em in a cockpit that they've never had access to.

The Top Gun sequel was, of course, a huge film that blazed a technological trail by capturing naval flight on IMAX cameras. Also, the Maverick cast went through some intense training in order to be able to sit in the back of real fighter jets (and no, they didn’t pilot them themselves). Real Navy pilots have since given positive feedback on the film as well. Just as the blockbuster put a major focus on the film format, The Blue Angels was shot with those cameras and premiered in theaters this past week. The Set It Up actor was also joined in the endeavor by several other veteran producers, with one being Super 8 and Star Wars director J.J. Abrams .

Since starring in Maverick , Glen Powell has earned his pilot’s license and become pals with Tom Cruise in real life. And, as mentioned, he also starred in the historical drama Devotion , which is about real pilots who fought during the Korean War. Clearly, Powell has not only been solidifying himself within the cinematic landscape, as he's also been making the case for the brave miltary pilots who do their jobs so diligently.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.

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How a B-movie actor duped friends and family out of $690M for ‘Hollywood’s biggest Ponzi scheme’

A n aspiring actor who moved from Indiana to Tinseltown starred in “Hollywood’s biggest Ponzi scheme” — raising over $690 million from family, friends and other investors by convincing them that he ran a successful movie licensing business.

Zachary Horwitz — who snagged bit parts under the stage name Zach Avery in films starring Bryan Cox, Bruce Dern and Olivia Munn — claimed he was negotiating with HBO, Netflix and Sony to license the rights to Spanish-language films, according to court records.

During the five-year scheme, Horwitz preyed on three of his closest college friends, who in turn persuaded their parents, grandparents, siblings and in-laws to raid their life savings.

Horwitz, 37, promised investors returns in excess of 35%, and for many years paid supposed returns on earlier investments using funds from new investments, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

He pleaded guilty in 2021 to securities fraud and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2022.

His brazen plot, which is the subject of a new documentary premiering next month at the Tribeca Film Festival , involved securing loans from his friends in order to finance deals for the rights to movies that would then be sold to large streaming services for a profit, according to authorities.

Horwitz used the illicit proceeds to live a seemingly idyllic life with his wife and child in a $6 million mansion near Beverly Hills.

But investigators said that Horwitz simply fabricated the tale to his friends and family by discovering old distribution contracts and then copy and pasting them into Microsoft Word documents that were fake.

Horwitz would forge signatures of executives whose names he looked up on LinkedIn in order to convince investors to loan him money.

He would also show his investors fake text messages that he claimed were from Netflix and HBO executives.

Jacob Wunderlin, who was a friend of Horwitz from their days as undergraduates at Indiana University in Bloomington, was persuaded to invest $37,000 after Horwitz showed him a contract that made it appear as if he was selling Sony the rights to a Mexican rom-com called “Deseo.”

Within 90 days, Wunderlin was repaid the principal plus an additional $9,000 in profit, according to The New Yorker magazine.

Horwitz also claimed to Wunderlin that his movie company, Rogue Black, was being backed by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

He even showed Wunderlin an email that appeared to come from Schultz’s own account, The New Yorker reported.

Wunderlin was in awe of the returns to the point where he convinced his parents to put up half their retirement savings.

Horwitz’s friends said they were seeing returns upward of 20% — which whetted their appetites even more and prompted them to loan him even more money.

“We’re getting paid on time. Real cash. Without fail,” Joseph deAlteris, another college friend, told The New Yorker.

Some of Horwitz’s friends took out more loans to allow him to do more deals. They even mused about quitting their full-time jobs in finance to help Horwitz grow his business.

DeAlteris convinced his widowed mother, who is a retired physician’s assistant, to invest $40,000. In a two-year period, Horwitz’s friends made a profit on some 27 fictitious movie deals, according to The New Yorker.

Horwitz was able to get away with the scheme for five years by covering his tracks, according to investigators.

He hired a woman to impersonate an HBO executive who would then speak to his investors by phone in order to answer questions they may have about prospective deals.

Horwitz also told investors not to contact the streaming platforms directly because he had signed nondisclosure agreements with them.

According to prosecutors, Horwitz used the money to pay for private jet flights and yacht trips as well as $605,000 for luxury cars that included a Mercedes-Benz and an Audi; $174,000 for party planners; and $54,600 for a “luxury watch subscription” service.

As an actor, Horwitz was beginning to see modest success in the movie business. In 2020, he appeared in a supporting role alongside “Succession” star Cox in the film “Last Moment of Clarity.”

The next year, he co-starred in “The Gateway,” which featured Dern and Munn.

But the Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2020 when Horwitz ran out of investors to plow more money into the fraud. When earlier investors started demanding their money back, Horwitz would delay, prompting them to threaten lawsuits.

Eventually, duped investors started contacting law enforcement, who launched an investigation.

One of those investors was Robert Henny, a screenwriter who told the federal judge who presided over Horwitz’s case that he lost $1.8 million in the scheme.

Another investor, a 64-year-old, said that he had to come out of retirement just to make ends meet after losing $1.4 million.

“I cry every day and have stopped seeing friends or family because of the shame of this financial loss and have a now severe distrust of other human beings,” the unnamed investor told Los Angeles federal court on Feb. 14, 2022 — the day that Horwitz was sentenced to two decades behind bars.

The mother of a 46-year-old special needs daughter said that she “will never be able to earn what has been taken from me and my daughter” but “the emotional damage … is even greater.”

Horwitz’s wife filed for divorce after his arrest.

How a B-movie actor duped friends and family out of $690M for ‘Hollywood’s biggest Ponzi scheme’

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What Has Nick Carter Been Accused of? All the Allegations Against the Backstreet Boys Singer

Nick Carter was accused of sexual assault by three women between 2017 and 2023, though he has continued to refute the accusations

Rebecca Aizin is an Editorial Assistant at PEOPLE. She has been working at PEOPLE since 2023. Her work has previously appeared on Elle, HGTV and Backstage. 

superyacht documentary

Michael Kovac/Getty

Nick Carter has come under scrutiny in the last few years as he has been embroiled in allegations of sexual assault by three women.

The Backstreet Boys star was first accused of rape in 2017 by singer Melissa Schuman who alleged that the singer assaulted her when she was 18 and he was 22. Though Carter refuted the claims, he was again accused of rape in August 2023 when a plaintiff known as A.R. filed a lawsuit against him following an incident that took place in 2003.

One of Carter’s former fans, Shannon Ruth, filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing him of sexual battery in December 2022. Like the other two women, Ruth alleged that she was a virgin at the time of the incident and that she contracted HPV after.

"This claim about an incident that supposedly took place more than 20 years ago is not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue,” Michael Holtz, an attorney for Carter, told PEOPLE in a statement at the time.

He added, "Unfortunately, for several years now, Ms. Ruth has been manipulated into making false allegations about Nick — and those allegations have changed repeatedly and materially over time. No one should be fooled by a press stunt orchestrated by an opportunistic lawyer — there is nothing to this claim whatsoever, which we have no doubt the courts will quickly realize."

Now, Carter’s alleged victims are speaking out in the Investigation Discovery docuseries Fallen Idols: Nick and Aaron Carter .

From what they accused him of to how he’s responded, here’s everything to know about the allegations against Nick Carter.

What has Nick Carter been accused of?

Presley Ann/Getty ; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

In November 2017, Carter was accused by Schuman of rape. The former member of the girl group Dream detailed on her personal blog that when she was 18 and Carter was 22, he invited her to his house during a day off from a movie they were shooting and took her to the bathroom, where they started kissing.

She alleged that he unbuttoned her pants and performed oral sex on her before leading her to his bedroom, where he allegedly forced himself on her, despite her insistence that she was a virgin and wanted to save herself for marriage.

“He was relentless, refusing to take my no’s for an answer. He was heavy, too heavy to get out from under him,” she wrote. “Then I felt it, he put something inside of me. I asked him what it was and he whispered in my ear once more, ‘It’s all me baby.' ”

Carter refuted her claims in a statement to PEOPLE, saying he was “shocked” and “saddened” by the accusations. 

“Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual,” he said. “We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.”

Though Schuman was unable to charge Carter at the time of her initial accusations due to California’s previous 10-year statute of limitations, she filed a lawsuit in April 2023 after the law changed earlier that year.

In December 2022, Carter was sued by Ruth, who accused him of sexual assault. She alleged that she was in an autograph line for the Backstreet Boys after a Tacoma, Wash., show in 2001 when Carter invited her into his tour bus.

Ruth added that the singer allegedly offered her a “VIP juice,” which she thought contained alcohol — though he said it was just cranberry juice — and took her into his bathroom, where he allegedly demanded she perform oral sex on him. The assault then continued in his bedroom, Ruth claimed.

Ruth added that she was also a virgin at the time and contracted HPV following the interaction. Carter’s lawyer denied the accusations in a statement to PEOPLE.

A third woman, who goes by the initials A.R. in her lawsuit, accused Carter of rape, alleging there were multiple incidents that occurred when she was 15. She detailed one in which Carter allegedly sexually abused her on a yacht, claiming he “instructed” her to keep it “secret.”

In a separate instance, which also took place on a yacht, she claimed Carter "knowingly provided alcohol and drugs" to her and "enticed three other men" to watch him "engaging in sexual intercourse with then-minor A.R. from a vantage point of an outside window in the cabin of Carter's yacht."

Like Ruth, A.R. claimed that Carter infected her with HPV. She said she told her mother about the incident and reported it to the Southern York County law enforcement in Pennsylvania at the time. At the time of her lawsuit, she was seeking $15,000 in damages.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Carter’s lawyer, Dale Hayes, called the allegations “false” and said he was “pleased” with the timing of the filing so they could argue the “co-conspirators” at the same time.

“When A.R. first accused Nick Carter almost two decades ago, authorities listened and thoroughly investigated – and then informed A.R. that her allegations were meritless," he said. “And now she’s at it yet again. But repeating the same false allegations in a new legal complaint doesn’t make them any more true. Nick is looking forward to the evidence being presented and the truth about these malicious schemes coming to light.”

What has Nick Carter said about the accusations?

Kevin Winter/Getty

Carter has denied all of the allegations and has pursued countersuits against the women. After Ruth filed her lawsuit in December 2022, Carter responded with a countersuit filed in February 2023 against both her and Schuman.

He alleged that the two women used the #MeToo movement to launch a five-year conspiracy to "defame and vilify Carter and otherwise ruin his reputation for the purposes of garnering attention and fame and/or extorting money from Carter," according to the suit obtained by PEOPLE.

The countersuit described Ruth and Schuman as “opportunists” who set out to “destroy innocent lives” as they reportedly cost Carter more than $2.3 million in business losses after the December accusation.

Carter also claimed that he had never met Ruth before and that Schuman and her father “groomed” Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, as "a vulnerable and highly impressionable individual, craving attention and desperate to fit in."

Ruth then motioned to have Carter’s countersuit dismissed , but a month later, a Nevada judge ruled that the countersuit may continue .

Where do the lawsuits against Nick Carter stand today?

Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service/Getty

As of August 2023, a Las Vegas judge ruled that Carter could continue his defamation countersuit against Schuman, citing sufficient evidence to move forward. In May 2024, Carter filed a motion requesting a hearing and asking the court to grant him a summary judgment on Ruth's claims "for sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress."

Carter claimed it was “ factually impossible ” for him to have assaulted Ruth, and provided evidence disputing her claim that the incident occurred after she waited in an autograph line. The singer’s team alleged that no such line existed, while Susan Riggs, a friend of the band and Carter at the time, testified that she "personally observed Carter exit the venue, board his tour bus and immediately drive away.”

Additionally, Carter’s lawyers claimed that Ruth was unable to recall several details including details about the alleged “VIP juice” and how much time passed between when she came on to the bus and allegedly went to the bathroom with Carter.

"Carter is entitled to summary judgment in this case and should not be forced to proceed to trial in a matter where the plaintiff has failed to produce a shred of reliable evidence to support her claims," the filing argued.

What have others said about the allegations against Nick Carter?

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Carter’s alleged victims spoke out in the ID documentary Fallen Idols: Nick and Aaron Carter , which aired in late May 2024. Kaya Jones, Carter’s ex-girlfriend from the early naughts and a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, joined them, stating that she believed Schuman’s accusations .

She shared in the documentary that she reached out to Schuman after her 2017 accusation.

“Nick Carter was my boyfriend when I was in the Pussycat Dolls, and I saw the very detailed allegation about Nick and the response,” Jones said in the documentary. “It bothered me. Because it was discrediting this girl [Schuman]. So I wanted to hear what Melissa had to say.”

Jones added that she tweeted a warning to Carter after Schuman spoke up in 2017 that read, “Don’t lie Nick. I’m no longer keeping your secrets.”

“I saw a young woman trying to speak and someone who thought he had more power and authority try to shut her up. I tweeted that,” she said. “It was my way of saying, ‘Don’t push it.’ because he knows what I know. He knows why I left him. And so do I believe that something horrific happened to that girl? Yes. Yes I do.”

Carter’s attorney shared in a statement to PEOPLE that the claims in the documentary were “outrageous.”

"These are exactly the same outrageous claims that led us to sue this gang of conspirators," Hayes said. "Those cases are working their way through the legal system now, and, based on both the initial court rulings and the overwhelming evidence, we have every belief that we will prevail and hold them accountable for spreading these falsehoods.”

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London Indian Film Festival Celebrates 15th Year With Nationwide Outreach, Expanded, Music, XR and Gaming Strands (EXCLUSIVE)

By Patrick Frater

Patrick Frater

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“It’s been an incredible journey marking 15 years this year and we are delighted to expand into new U.K. cities, welcoming Bradford and Liverpool into our 6-city reach. It’s also personally exciting to have such a talented team and innovative partners, as we push ahead to explore new frontiers of South Asian gaming and XR scenes and continue our mission to showcase and celebrate emerging and established filmmakers, diversifying our offer to U.K. audiences,” said CEO and programming director Cary Rajinder Sawhney .

The features programme incudes “Ennennum,” a Kerala-based relationship drama, dressed as a compelling sci-fi tale; Kannada-language award winner “Mithya” and Gujarati-language “Shunya,” both coming-of-age stories following child protagonists as they navigate a rapidly changing society. The program also includes the world premiere of U.K. produced rom-com “Before Nikkah,” inspired by Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise.”

This year’s LIFF will play the first three episodes of Canadian series “Late Bloomer,” a comedy created by and starring social media star Jus Reign, which follows the adventures of a young Sikh millennial struggling to navigate the complexities of Eastern roots with Western ideals.

On the feminist front, the festival has programmed Marathi-language film “Sthal,” which won one of the top awards at the Toronto festival and follows a young woman’s quest for education and empowerment. Pakistani-American woman director Iram Parveen-Bilal’s “Wakhri” is inspired by real-life figures like Qandeel Baloch, Pakistan’s first social media celebrity who was murdered by her own family. It depicts a teacher, mother and social media star grappling with the challenges of trying to raise a son in a patriarchal world.

The festival has multiple short film strands. These included LGBTQIA+ film showcase, Too Desi Too Queer; the internationally programmed Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition; and the New Brit-Asian Shorts section. The Satyajit Ray competition includes five films jostling for a $1,250 (£1,000) cash prize from Civic Studios. Previous winners include Saim Sadiq, director of “Joyland,” and Shubhashish Bhutiani, director of “Hotel Salvation.”

Taking the show on the road, the festival will be holding its South Asian XR Showcase, curated by Taran Singh at the partner event, Birmingham Indian Film Festival, held at Birmingham Open Media.

The second year of the South Asian Gaming Zone in Liverpool, curated by Simran Whitman and in partnership with Tulsea, sees the festival renew its partnership with FORMAT GG.

The Manchester IFF explores how South Asians have shaped British music, showcasing stories of boundary-breakers and cultural pioneers, and fostering greater representation in British music through the lens of film.

There will also be a partnership with a major business forum, India Week, where policy and business leaders discuss India’s place in the U.K. and the world. The new event is titled The Film Conclave: Discussing the Business of Entertainment.

The festival is supported by BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, and major partner The Bagri Foundation.

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