By Brian Brooks | Indiewire December 9, 2011 at 11:38AM
In a prelude to the Sundance titles that will find Stateside distribution, Kino Lorber has picked up all North American rights to "Putin's Kiss" by Danish director Lise Birk Pedersen. The film had its world premiere at the recent International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, which screened in competition.
The doc will have its North American debut at Sundance in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The film will broadcast on ITVS in late 2012.
Full Kino Lorber acquisition release follows:
Kino Lorber, Inc. is proud to announce the acquisition of all North American rights to "Putin's Kiss" a film by Lise Birk Pedersen and Monday Production. "Putin's Kiss" was acquired by Kino Lorber at IDFA, where it had its world premiere in the IDFA Feature Documentary competition.
The acquisition was negotiated by Kino Lorber Vice President Elizabeth Sheldon and Helle Faber of Made in Copenhagen. It will be released theatrically after its North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (in the World Cinema Documentary competition). The film will broadcast on ITVS in late 2012.
"Putin's Kiss" portrays contemporary life in Russia through the coming-of-age story of Masha, a middle-class, 19-year-old Russian girl and a member of Nashi, a political youth organization that is connected with the Kremlin. Extremely ambitious, the young Masha quickly ascends to the top of Nashi, which allows her to become the protégé of the Minister of Youth. She is rewarded for her loyalty with an apartment while attending Moscow State University.
She begins to question her involvement with Nashi when she learns that a radical faction within the organization is supposedly responsible for attacks against anyone who criticizes Putin. This leads her to question the organization, and she meets a journalist, Oleg Khasin, with whom she becomes close friends despite their strongly opposing views. However, when Oleg is attacked, Masha finds herself at odds with Nashi, and realizes she must take a stand.
"'Putin's Kiss' exposes a ruling elite that places no value on a free press or free elections. Masha's story is universal, she is intelligent, ambitious and proud of her country and does not want to see the dark side of Russia's leadership, which has ostensibly brought security to a country wracked by political, economic and social upheaval.
"Her story and her moral dilemma illustrate the price of taking a political stand," comments Elizabeth Sheldon, "We are proud to add this important film to the Kino Lorber library." Producer Helle Faber added, "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to bring the film out to an American audience. Thanks to Kino Lorber, Putin's Kiss will now premiere in NY and other major cities in the US."