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BBC Motion Gallery Licenses Footage for American Gangster

2 October 2007

Archival material from Vietnam War-era 1970s provides historical context for Universal Pictures drama from director Ridley Scott and Oscar®-winning producer Brian Grazer

BBC Motion Gallery, the stock footage arm of BBC Worldwide, announced today that it has licensed 10 minutes of material for use in the forthcoming Universal Pictures’ drama American Gangster. In the film, Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Brian Grazer and Ridley Scott team to tell the true juggernaut success story of a cult hero from the streets of 1970s Harlem. American Gangster is slated for domestic release on November 16, 2007.

Said Larry Weier, VP of Production Information, NBC Universal, “From vintage news segments, historical speeches and interviews, the depth and variety of material BBC Motion Gallery has available is vast. Additionally, the client services team quite understands the moviemaking process. We were confident from the beginning that they had exactly what we were looking for to complement select scenes in the film.”

In American Gangster, Washington stars as Frank Lucas, a brilliant entrepreneur and self-made embodiment of the American Dream who comes from nowhere to rule the inner-city drug trade, Crowe plays Richie Roberts, an outcast cop zeroing in on who is outfoxing and outplaying all the familiar Mafia families as he closes in on this unexpected new streetwise superstar. To put the film into historical context and to capture the mood of the Vietnam era, BBC Motion Gallery provided 10 minutes of news footage from the CBS News Archive for use as playback in television monitors and in montage sequences appearing in the film.

“We’ve seen an increase in documentary and historical dramas coming to us and requesting very specific, hard-to-find shots. Not only is it immensely rewarding to hand off the clips to Universal, ready to be plugged directly into the film, but seeing how our material is integrated into a final product is always satisfying, especially when the director is as esteemed as Ridley Scott,” Said Jan Ross, Senior Vice President, BBC Motion Gallery in the Americas.

American Gangster follows on the heels of several high-profile feature film productions that have sourced motion imagery from BBC Motion Gallery to help tell their stories. These include The Hoax, We Are Marshall, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Good Shepherd, Bobby, The Queen, Flags of our Fathers, and 2006 Oscar® winner for Best Picture, The Departed, among many others.

BBC Motion Gallery, a business within BBC Worldwide, offers media professionals access to the world’s most comprehensive collection of high-quality motion imagery for licensing worldwide. With more than 500,000 hours of footage, BBC Motion Gallery encompasses a wealth of content covering natural history, sport, news, locations, art, music, celebrities, historic events and more. BBC Motion Gallery is also the exclusive global representative of the CBS News Archive, and has global distribution deals with NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and CCTV, China’s national television station. BBC Motion Gallery operates from offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Dubai, Los Angeles, Paris, Toronto, Sydney and Tokyo.

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the license payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, Magazines, Content & Production, Home Entertainment and Digital Media.

Media Contact:

Karen Raz, Raz Public Relations

(310) 450-1482,