Produced by Sylvia Wilczynski at Red Lamp Films, with funding from Screen Australia, the film had its US premiere at this year's Tribeca Film Festival and won three major awards: Best Narrative Feature prize, the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film and the Best Actor in a Narrative Feature award (given to 10-year-old Sitthiphon Disamoe). At this year's Berlinale, "The Rocket" also won the "Crystal Bear" (Generation Kplus prize for Best Film) as well as the Best First Feature award and The Amnesty International Award.
Kino Lorber is planning a national theatrical release for the film during the fall, followed by a digital, VOD and home media release in 2014. KinoLorber CEO Richard Lorber negotiated the deal for the film with Natja Noviani Rosner, LevelK's Sales Director out of the Cannes Market.
The film as described by Kino Lorber:
"A co-production between Australia, Laos and Thailand, the film is set in contemporary Laos and tells the story of a boy named Ahlo (beautifully played by Sitthiphon Disamoe) who is believed to be a bearer of bad luck and is therefore blamed for a string of disasters - including his mother's death. When his family loses their home and is forced to move, Ahlo meets the spirited orphan Kia and her eccentric uncle Purple: an ex-soldier with a purple suit, a rice-wine habit and an unbridled love for James Brown.
Struggling to hang onto his father's trust, Ahlo leads his family, Purple and Kia through a land scarred by war in search of a new home. But bad luck seems to follow Ahlo, and in a last plea to prove he's not cursed, Ahlo builds a giant explosive rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: The Rocket Festival."
"'The Rocket''s first-class filmmaking delivers its rare sense of heart with breathtaking originality," Richard Lorber, CEO of Kino Lorber commented. "Given its thrilling response during the Tribeca Film Festival, I'm certain that American audiences everywhere will fall in love with this uniquely beautiful and powerful film. We believe a Rocket like this can shoot as high as the Oscars."
Tine Klint, CEO of LevelK added: We are extremely proud of "The Rocket"and thankful to Tribeca for helping us promoting the film. Kino Lorber is a stong distributor with great visions for our film and we are looking forward to working with their passionate team.