Deadline’s Doc Talk Podcast: John Ridley Goes Off On Nelson Peltz, Disney Board Suitor; Plus, The ‘Happiest’ Documentary At True/False

Oscar winner John Ridley has some choice words for Nelson Peltz, the activist investor who’s trying to land two seats on the board of the Walt Disney Co.

In the new episode of Deadline’s Doc Talk podcast, pod co-host Ridley excoriates Peltz for remarks the Trian Fund titan made about Disney’s superhero movies, specifically The Marvels and Black Panther. In reference to The Marvels, which starred Brie Larson, Peltz told the Financial Times, “Why do I have to have a Marvel [film] that’s all women? Not that I have anything against women, but why do I have to do that?” 

Apparently in reference to the Black Panther movies, which have made more than $2 billion worldwide, Peltz added, “Why do I need an all-Black cast?”

Ridley rips into Peltz, saying the billionaire has no business near the Disney board room.

And that’s just the capper to a Doc Talk episode that explores two hot titles from the recent True/False film festival in Columbia, MO: Agent of Happiness and A Photographic Memory.

Agent of Happiness directors Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Zurbó discuss their film shot in Bhutan, the only country on Earth that puts tremendous resources into measuring the contentment of its people. They call it “Gross Domestic Happiness,” and the goal of assessing it is written into Bhutan’s constitution. 

Agent of Happiness centers on Bhutanese survey takers who help evaluate fluctuating levels of happiness in their country. But one of the film’s protagonists, Amber Kumar Gurung, represents a paradox – a surveyor who faces challenges in his own quest for happiness.

True/False also hosted the world premiere of A Photographic Memory, a deeply personal film directed by Rachel Elizabeth Seed that explores her mother Sheila’s work as a photographer. Sheila Turner Seed died young, but not before achieving remarkable accomplishments as an artist; she also interviewed many of the legends of the field including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Gordon Parks, William Albert Allard and Roman Vishniac. The filmmaker joins Doc Talk to share fascinating insights into her mother that she learned many years after her mom’s passing.

That’s on the new episode of Doc Talk, co-hosted by Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Matt Carey, Deadline’s Documentary Editor. Doc Talk is a production of Deadline and Ridley’s Nō Studios.

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