Celia Aniskovich, the director of Call Me Miss Cleo, is set to release a new documentary about the Christmas tree trade in New York City. The Merchants of Joy (w/t) will follow five families who are both street corner capitalists and Christmas enthusiasts as they source, negotiate, and sell trees in the city that never sleeps. The film was inspired by an article published in Epic magazine in December 2022.
Todd Lubin and Jack Turner will executive produce for Boat Rocker’s Matador Content, alongside Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier for Boat Rocker. Aniskovich and Zoe Vock will produce for Dial Tone Films, along with Arthur Spector, Joshua Davis and Josh Bearman for Epic Magazine.
The documentary aims to tell the story of human connection through the people who make Christmas happen in New York City year after year. Aniskovich said she founded Dial Tone Films to tell stories of human connection and is thrilled to be partnering with Boat Rocker and Matador Content on this evergreen film.
“From turf wars to trade secrets, the intrigue, and personalities featured in The Merchants of Joy should make this an instant holiday classic,” said Todd Lubin, President of Boat Rocker Studios Unscripted. “Much like her previous films, Celia has assembled an unconventional and endearing cast of characters; we’re so happy to be partnering with her and Epic on this year-round white-knuckled hustle,” added Jack Turner, SVP of Scripted and Documentary Content for Matador.
Joshua Davis, co-founder of Epic Magazine added that what they didn’t realize is that the Christmas tree business is a year-round hustle which Celia began filming with extraordinary passion in January 2023.