EXCLUSIVE: Amidst a recent expansion into docs and scripted series, after just two years as a producer-financier of features, Closer Media has added accomplished producers Joey Marra and Nate Matteson to its leadership team. Former Jigsaw exec Marra will lead the company’s non-fiction division, with former manager Matteson set to oversee scripted television.
The hires come following Closer Media’s successful run on the fall festival circuit with titles including its first narrative feature, Ezra, The Monk and the Gun, which was snapped up for North America by Roadside Attractions after bowing out of Toronto, and the documentary In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon.
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Marra will be based out of New York City, with Matteson working out of L.A.
Since joining Closer, Marra has spearheaded development of the Elon Musk documentary Musk, from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, which was recently acquired by HBO. He produced that film and is also an exec producer on Closer’s first doc release, the aforementioned In Restless Dreams, which was also helmed by Gibney. He’s additionally an EP on the forthcoming doc Orwell from Oscar-nominated director Raoul Peck, which has been acquired by Neon.
Marra’s involvement with Gibney’s projects resulted from his seven years as a producer and head of development at the renowned documentarian’s Jigsaw Productions, a company that he helped turn into a non-fiction powerhouse through the development and sale of over 25 premium docu films, series, and podcasts. Other projects with which he’s been involved include the Netflix docuseries Dirty Money and How to Change Your Mind; Gibney’s HBO docs Crazy, Not Insane and Crime of the Century; Matthew Heineman’s City of Ghosts; the two-time Emmy-nominated docuseries The Line (Apple TV+) and its accompanying podcast series, which garnered Marra a DuPont Award; the Emmy-winning HBO doc Tiger; the music docuseries Hip-Hop: Songs That Shook (AMC) with Questlove and Black Thought; the Emmy-nominated pop science series Brain Games (Nat Geo); and a forthcoming nature series with Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Amazon.
Marra began his career in film and television as a development executive at National Geographic Channel.
Matteson is well-known for teaming in 2019 with longtime friend and collaborator Hiro Murai to launch Super Frog Films, where he ran the company’s first-look deal with FX. He also served as Murai’s manager, and in that capacity helped shepherd his groundbreaking FX series Atlanta, created by and starring Donald Glover. Matteson’s most recent projects as an executive producer include the FX phenomenon The Bear created by Chris Storer, which garnered 13 Emmy nominations in its first season; Max’s Station Eleven from Patrick Somerville, which was nominated for seven Emmys; as well as the docuseries The Choe Show at FX, which earned a nomination for Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards.
As a manager, Matteson previously repped such esteemed filmmakers and showrunners as David Bruckner (The Night House), Lee Sung Jin (Beef), and Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (Yellowjackets). Upcoming projects for him include Amazon’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Glover and Maya Erskine, She Rides Shotgun starring Taron Egerton, and a continuation of Station Eleven based on bestseller, The Glass Hotel.
Founded by Zhang Xin, under the leadership of Emmy-winning veteran producer William Horberg, in 2022, the New York-based Closer Media’s goal is to work with a diverse group of domestic and international filmmakers on projects for a global audience, across film and television, scripted and unscripted. Among other upcoming projects for the company is the Tony Goldwyn-helmed comedy Ezra, starring Bobby Cannavale, Robert De Niro, Rose Byrne and newcomer William Fitzgerald, which recently world premiered in Toronto.
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