By Peter Knegt | Indiewire April 30, 2009 at 3:36AM
Lorber HT Digital's Alive Mind has acquired all U.S. rights to "Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action," the documentary from Velcrow Ripper that premieres as an official selection next week at Hot Docs.
"Fierce Light" is inspired by the death of director Velcrow Ripper's friend, media activist Brad Will. Brad was shot to death in Oaxaca, Mexico while videotaping protests against State Governor, Ulises Ruiz, who employed violence in an effort to subdue a peaceful protest by striking teachers. From Mexico, Velcrow circumnavigates the world, asking how peaceful activism, which has inspired so much of his work, can still be effective in our ruthless socio-political environment.
"I am thrilled to be working with Alive Mind on the release of 'Fierce Light,'" Ripper said in a statement. "The philosophy that guides their collection is ideal for a film such as mine, which explores spiritual activism and the transformation of our world one person at a time. Their distribution approach, which taps into the same kind of DIY people power that drove Obama into office, represents the future of independent film distribution. I look forward to working closely with them to help build a movement around this film."
Ripper is best known for "Scared Sacred," winner of a special jury prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, and "Bones of the Forest," which won the Best of the Festival award at Hot Docs.
"Light" will open theatrically at select venues in the second quarter of this year. At the same time, Alive Mind Education will offer it with public performance rights to educational and cultural institutions. The DVD will be available by the end of 2009 or early 2010. Also at Hot Docs will be another recently announced Lorber acquisition, "Intangible Asset #82,"Emma Franz' debut documentary about Australian drummer Simon Barker's search for his muse, Korean Shaman Kim Seok-Chul. Lorber HT Digital will offer both "Light" and "Asset" to the public from MyFilmblog.com, a Lorber HT Digital affiliate.
"'Fierce Light' embodies the Alive Mind label: spiritual activism transforming our world," Richard Lorber said in a statement. "We are proud to be releasing this definitive film and working with Velcrow who has set the highest standard in this genre. By offering 'Fierce Light' via video-on-demand, we are reaching beyond the Hot Docs audience to Velcrow's fan base and the wide community that embraces his message of transformation through spiritual action in the digital age."
The deal was negotiated by Christina Rogers for the National Film Board of Canada and by Richard Lorber and Elizabeth Sheldon on behalf of Lorber HT Digital for release on their specialty label, Alive Mind.