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by Brian Brooks
September 7, 2011 7:14 AM
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Film Movement Lures "Free Men" to N. America

North American rights to "Free Men" by Ismaël Ferroukhi ("Le Grand Voyage") have been picked up by Film Movement. The French thriller, based on real events, about a Muslim Algerian immigrant living in Vichy France, will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

Film Movement will open the feature in the second quarter of 2012 in New York with a limited national roll out afterward as well as a day and date cable on demand debut.

Full acquisition release follows:

Film Movement (www.filmmovement.com), the North American film distribution company that brings first-run, award-winning independent and foreign films to fans all across the country, announced today their acquisition of FREE MEN. The second feature film from Film Movement alum Ismaël Ferroukhi (LE GRAND VOYAGE) is a French thriller, based on real events, about a Muslim Algerian immigrant living in Vichy France, whose unexpected friendship with a Jewish singer inspires him to join the Resistance, and put his own life in danger to save hundreds of Jews in the process.

Recently announced as a Toronto Int’l Film Festival Official Selection, FREE MEN, features César Award winner Tahar Rahim (for the Academy Award nominated film A PROPHET) in the starring role. The film will enjoy a New York theatrical opening in Q2 of 2012, with a limited national roll-out to follow, as well as a day-and-date Cable Video on Demand premiere.

Synopsis of FREE MEN:
1942, in German-occupied Paris. Younes, a young unemployed Algerian, earns his living
as a black marketeer. Arrested by the French police but given a chance to avoid jail, Younes agrees to spy on the Paris Mosque. The police suspects the Mosque authorities, among which its rector Ben Ghabrit (played by Michael Lonsdale), of aiding Muslim Resistance agents, as well as helping North African Jews by giving them false certificates. At the Mosque, Younes meets the Algerian singer Salim Halali, and is moved by Salim’s beautiful voice and strong personality. A deep friendship develops, and soon after Younes discovers that Salim is Jewish. In spite of the risks it entails, Younes stops collaborating with the police, and gradually develops from being a politically ignorant immigrant worker into a fully-fledged freedom fighter.

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