July 02, 2014 // Franchising.com // AUSTIN, TX - Drafthouse Films has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2014 Cannes' International Critics' Week award winner The Tribe. Blowing away critics and audiences alike, the radically ambitious film has been called "an unprecedented cinematic accomplishment" by Indiewire, while The Guardian heralds it "the great discovery of this year's festival."
Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film's narrative unfolds purely through sign language without a need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level. The film dominated the Cannes' Independent Critics' Week awards, winning the Nespresso Grand Prize, the France 4 Visionary Award and the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution grant.
Directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy and produced by Valentyn Vasyanovych and Iya Myslytska from Garmata Film Production, The Tribe's astonishingly intimate and raw depiction of disenchanted youth features a cast comprised entirely of non-professional, deaf actors including leads Grigory Fesenko as Sergey and Yana Novikova as Anna.
"As I was watching The Tribe, the goosebumps on my arms quickly signaled that I was seeing something truly special," said Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League. "Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy is a massive talent. I am confident that he will quickly become a world-renowned director, and I am excited and proud to be sharing his striking first feature with North America."
"When working with a film like The Tribe, we immediately became more sensitive to signs and language: passion speaks first. We received an amazing response after our first market screening in Cannes, and Drafthouse Films showed from the very beginning all the right signs - and the strongest passion-to distribute our film in North America," noted Alpha Violet's Co-CEOs Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato.
"I am very glad that my film will be released in the United States," added Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. "I have always believed in the universality of film's language, and have always believed that dialogue and subtitles change the way different audiences perceive the film in different countries. I am pleased to have created a universal film that audiences around the world can perceive in the same way, regardless of race, language or country. People laugh at the same parts and are horrified by the same parts. I think The Tribe is a truly universal movie in terms of language, and this makes me supremely happy."
The Tribe will screen in select theaters across North America and will be released on a variety of VOD platforms and digital, DVD, and Blu-ray formats.
For theatrical bookings contact Sumyi Khong Antonson, VP of Marketing and Distribution at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deal was negotiated by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato from Alpha Violet and James Emanuel Shapiro and Tim League from Drafthouse Films and marks the first collaboration between the two companies.
Somewhere in Ukraine, Sergey enters a specialized boarding school for the deaf. Alone in this new and unfamiliar place, he must find his way through the school's hierarchy. Sergey quickly encounters the tribe, a student gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After passing their hazing rituals and being inducted into the group, he takes part in several robberies and begins to work his way up the chain of command to become pimp-protector for two of the girls, who turn tricks at the local truck stop. Finding himself in love with one of them, Sergey ultimately breaks all the unwritten rules of the tribe, with tragic consequences.
Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the simple motto of "sharing the films we love with the widest audience possible," Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named one of Time Magazine's "Top 10 Films Of The Year." Their diverse and unique slate includes the highly acclaimed Oscar® nominated documentary The Act Of Killing produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, 2013 SXSW Midnight Audience Award winner Cheap Thrills starring David Koechner (Anchorman), British auteur Ben Wheatley's psychedelic trip into magic and madness A Field In England, Ari Folman's Cannes Film Festival selected sci-fi epic The Congress starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti, Midnight Movie sensations Miami Connection and The Visitor,and rediscovered classics Wake in Fright and Ms. 45. Recent and upcoming releases include Dutch thriller Borgman, Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, and Sundance award-winning documentaries The Overnighters and 20,000 Days on Earth. Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically and through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms, integrating into the growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: the collectible art boutique Mondo; the largest US genre film festival Fantastic Fest; and the pop culture website Badass Digest.
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