Kino Lorber Takes In The Dardennes Young Ahmed; Freestyle Digital Media Acquires Immortal Hero; Gravitas Ventures Lands Doubting Thomas; More – Film Acquisition Roundup

Kino Lorber has acquired U.S. rights to Young Ahmed, the latest film from Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne to bow at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Director prize this year. The film is having its North American premiere at the upcoming COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles, and it will hit theaters in early 2020, followed by VOD .

The pic centers on a Belgian-Arab Muslim teenager named Ahmed (Idir Ben Addi) who lives in a small town with a secular single mother and siblings. He has frighteningly become radicalized through the influence of a magnetic, local extremist imam and becomes fixated with killing his female teacher in the name of his religious convictions.

Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell and Wild Bunchs Eva Diederix made the deal along with CAA Media Finance.

“We are proud to present to US audiences the latest masterwork from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne,” Lidell said of the brothers, two-time winners of Cannes Palme dOr. “Like all their great films, Young Ahmed portrays with great empathy a character grappling with a moral dilemma, and does so by telling an engrossing story bursting with suspense.”

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Freestyle Digital Media has acquired domestic rights to the spiritual drama Immortal Hero, based on the life Ryuho Okawa, the Japanese spiritual self-help guru, bestselling author and founder of the Happy Science movement. Freestyle plans a theatrical release October 18 in 20 U.S. markets after it world premieres in competition two days earlier at the San Diego Film Festival. It hits VOD next year.

The film from Happy Sciences HS Production follows Okawa (played by Makoto Mioya), a successful writer who collapses from a heart condition that doctors thought would kill him. Unbeknownst to anyone but Makoto, he has been communicating with powerful spiritual beings and accessing their wisdom and advice for most of his adult life. In a near-death visitation at the hospital, the spiritual beings come to him to remind Makoto that he can cure himself with the power of his own mind. He becomes and enlightened and transformed teacher in his “rebirth.” (See the trailer below.)

Okawa also produces, and his daughter Sayaka Okawa penned the script. Betsy Chasse negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with Freestyle Digital Media.

Heres the trailer:

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Music Box Films has acquired North American rights to Stuffed, the documentary about the art of taxidermy from director Erin Derham that world premiered this year at SXSW. Derham discovers a new generation of taxidermists dedicated to applying their artistry to a field that has conservation at its core. The pic will bow theatrically October 16 at New Yorks Film Forum followed by a limited theatrical run this fall and VOD early next year.

The docu delves into thRead More – Source