BuzzFeed’s Rise to Internet Phenomenon Examined in Documentary

BuzzFeed, the Internet news site that popularized the list and delivered major political and entertainment news, is the subject of an upcoming documentary by Kelsey Darragh, a former executive 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-winning production team at Campfire Studios, creators of Hulu’s “WeWork” and HBO Max’s “Low Country,” on the project.

The filmmaker says he plans to follow BuzzFeed’s “rapid rise and dominance in the early days of viral video,” but it’s not all clicks and growing traffic. The film will also examine the “chaotic and often criticized work environment” at BuzzFeed. The company went public in 2021 and its stock has fallen more than 80% since then.

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The film has a personal connection. Darragh, creator of the upcoming documentary “Rehumanize,” is also a former BuzzFeed contributor and producer.

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

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The documentary will feature interviews with internet “born-on-BuzzFeed” favorites Curly Velasquez, Essence Gant and Jazzmyne Robbins, former BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, former Head of Social Media & Publishing Maycie Timpone, former 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 are financing the project, are producing. Campfire’s Rebecca Evans, Ross Girard and Mark McCune are executive producers.

“Most startups start 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?’ Dinnerstein said. “Also, any opportunity to explore the intersection of business and pop culture immediately piques my interest.”

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Added Lieberman, “Like everyone else, I was fascinated by BuzzFeed and what it must have been like to work there at the height of their influence. I’m looking forward to Buzzfeed’s final 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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