By Indiewire | Indiewire March 11, 2004 at 2:00AM
Avatar Pursues Digital Distribution with New Slate of Docs
by Rania Richardson
Avatar Films has nabbed three new documentaries for theatrical release. All three, "Saints and Sinners," "Kumbh Mela: Short Cut to Nirvana," and "MC5: A True Testimonial" were shot on digital video and will be released in theaters on video, according to Avatar Co-President Jason Leaf.
"We've been successful reaching out to video-friendly venues across the country to play our films in as many cities as possible," Leaf told indieWIRE. "Many art houses and colleges have excellent video projection systems, and since the films were shot on digital video, no quality is lost. The benefits are many: cost savings on a film transfer to 35mm, the making and shipping of prints, as well as the ease of screening simultaneously at multiple venues."
In Abigail Honor and Yan Vizinberg's timely "Saints and Sinners," a devoutly Catholic gay couple attempt to marry and find acceptance in the Catholic Church. The two men pursue their dream, despite expected rejection, and seek to become the first gay couple to have their wedding announcement published in the New York Times.
"Kumbh Mela: Short Cut to Nirvana," by Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day, chronicles India's sacred 2,000 year-old Kumbh Mela religious celebration and the spiritual quest of several western followers. As the largest human gathering in the world, the celebration climaxes with 25 million people bathing in the holy waters of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, in their pursuit of nirvana.
David C. Thomas' "MC5: A True Testimonial," features live performances by the seminal 1960s Detroit-based band, MC5, who paved the way for punk rock. It examines the band's rise and fall from stardom and the journey from anti-establishment antics to censorship and surveillance by the FBI.
Other theatrical releases by Avatar Films include "Divine Intervention," by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, "Kandahar," Mohsen Makhmalbaf's drama set in Afghanistan, and "Zero Day," Ben Coccio's portrayal of teenage angst.
[ For more information, please visit: http://www.avatarfilms.com. ]