It sounds counterintuitive, but FilmDistrict will release "In the Land of Blood and Honey" in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian in the U.S., with English-language subtitles — leaving the version that was shot in English to be an option for its release on VOD and DVD.
FilmDistrict's Bob Berney said that any upside in offering stateside audiences the English-language version were countered by the experience of seeing the actors' performances in their native language.
"It's an arthouse release and it's more authentic," he said. "The actors and the performances have a subtlety in their native language. They pull it off in English, but it just makes more sense (in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian . It feels right.
"Even for ancillary markets, those markets require English a lot of times," Berney said. "It's great to have the English version by the original performers rather have it dubbed."
Berney says the two versions are otherwise "identical" save for the languages used by the actors in their performances.
FilmDistrict will release the film December 23 in New York and Los Angeles, with a wider release in January.
Here's the trailer that was released last month — in English.