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by Brian Brooks
January 29, 2009 11:40 AM
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Arthouse Tries "Kunstler" in North America

A scene from Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler's doc "William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe." Image courtesy of Sundance Film Festival.

North American theatrical and DVD rights to Sundance '09 doc competition film "William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe" have been picked up by Arthouse Films, the company announced Thursday evening. Arthouse and Curiously Bright Entertainment's David Koh and Lilly Bright negotiated the deal with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the director and producers. Arthouse Films plans a theatrical release in mid-2009, followed by a DVD release on the Arthouse Films label, and will premiere on PBS' series P.O.V. in 2010.

Directed by the late William Kunstler's younger daughters Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, the film spotlights the late civil rights attorney who is remembered as one of the most famous and controversial lawyers of the 20th century. He represented civil rights and anti-war activists, as well as accused terrorists and murders. The filmmakers explore their father's life, from middle-class family man, to movement lawyer, to the most hated lawyer in America. The duo share a provocative and deeply personal journey as they paint a complex portrait of a man whose life mirrors U.S. history.

"We were so moved by this film and are so proud to be working with the directors and producers on the release and distribution of the film," commented Koh and Bright in a statement. "We are thrilled to be working with Arthouse to bring our film to audiences across the United States," added the co-directors in a statement. "'William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe' is a film about and for people of courage. We hope that it communicates that the world we inherit is better because others struggled for justice, and that those changes will survive only if we remember and continue to fight."

Arthouse Films is an independent film production and distribution label based in NY and LA and acquires, produces, co-produces and distributes 20-plus titles per year.

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