EXCLUSIVE: HiddenLight Productions, the new production company founded by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sam Branson and Chelsea Clinton, has acquired the series adaptation rights to Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s The Daughters of Kobani: A Tale of Rebellion, Courage and Justice.
Given Lemmon’s track record in adapting bestselling books into feature films, the multi-bidder bidding war was fairly competitive before HiddenLight emerged victorious. For the Clintons, the property feels like the perfect IP to launch their banner, considering the topic and the strong women who helped Lemmon write it.
“The Daughters of Kobani are an exceptional account of courageous, defiant women fighting for justice and equality,” said Rodham Clinton. “We created HiddenLight to celebrate heroes – sung and unsung – whose courage is too often overlooked, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this inspiring story to viewers around the world.”
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The Daughters of Kobani is based on hundreds of hours of on-site interviews and reports and is the unforgettable story of an all-female Kurdish militia who surrendered to ISIS in northern Syria – and won. From this unlikely showdown a force emerged that not only aimed to defeat ISIS on the battlefield, but also to spread its own political vision and establish gender equality in its corner of the Middle East and beyond. In doing so, they received the respect and significant military support of the US special forces. The book will be published by Penguin Press on February 16.
“Nobody fought harder than Sec. Clinton to raise the voices of women around the world and shed light on the lives of women who struggle every day for their futures, ”Lemmon said. She’s a real trailblazer, and there is no better partner to bring The Daughters of Kobani and this story of the women who broke ISIS to screen than HiddenLight. “
Founded last December, HiddenLight Productions is a global studio that creates world-class documentary, non-written and scripted entertainment for TV, film, and digital that celebrates the best of the human spirit and helps audiences see the world in new ways .
HiddenLight’s first project, Gutsy Women, is a serial order for Apple TV +, inspired by their bestseller The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience. Gutsy Women will be hosted by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and will introduce a host of pioneering women who are searching for the question, “What exactly does it take to be a Gutsy Woman?”
HiddenLight is led by Roma Khanna, Chairman of the Board, and Johnny Webb, CEO, and is based in London, New York and LA.
Lemmon’s two previous books, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana (2011) and Ashley’s War: The Untold Tale of a Team of Female Soldiers on the Battlefield of the Special Ops (2015) were both Times best-sellers, one of which Reese Witherspoon had produced for an option in a bidding war Universal directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland).
She is an Associate Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, along with private sector leadership roles in energy technology and national security, and after a decade in politics began writing about entrepreneurship in conflict and post-conflict zones while studying for her MBA at Harvard the ABC News Political Unit and this week with George Stephanopoulos. This work from Afghanistan, Rwanda, Liberia, Bosnia and beyond has been published by the World Bank, Harvard Business School, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and CNN, among others. After completing his MBA, Lemmon led public policy analysis during the global financial crisis at global investment firm PIMCO.
Lemmon is represented by Anonymous Content and HiddenLight by WME.