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Distributor Pickups for South African Film Adaptation of ‘La Boheme’ w/ All-Black Cast + iPhone5s-Shot Sundance Comedy ‘Tangerine’

Distributor Pickups for South African Film Adaptation of 'La Boheme' w/ All-Black Cast + iPhone5s-Shot Sundance Comedy 'Tangerine'

2 pick ups you should be aware of, as each takes a step closer towards wide commercial release…

First, Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide rights to Mark Dornford-May’s “Breathe Umphefumlo,” which is set to premiere Out Of Competition at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. 

The South African film, which stars Pauline Malefane, is a modern remake of Giacomo Puccini’s classic 1896 opera, “La Boheme,” in Xhosa (one of South Africa’s official languages), with an all-black South African cast, combining both music from the original opera with traditional music.

It follows previous remakes by the same production unit and cast, of other known works of opera, including Georges Bizet’s classic 1875 work “Carmen,” and Benjamin Britten’s 1957 piece, “Noye’s Fludde.” 

No release dates and markets announced yet.

And second, Magnolia has picked up world rights to Sean Baker’s Sundance NEXT <=> selection, “Tangerine,” for a theatrical release later this year.

Sean Baker directed the film (which was shot entirely using iPhone 5s phones with anamorphic lens adapters) from a script he penned with Chris Bergoch, which tells the story of a working girl who tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve, searching for the pimp who broke her heart. 

The film stars trans actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor. 

“Tangerine” makes its world premiere at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival.

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