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by Bryce J. Renninger
December 22, 2011 11:20 AM
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Kino Lorber Takes US Rights to Comedic Spirituality Doc "Kumare"

Kino Lorber has just announced that it will be releasing SXSW hit "Kumare" in the US.  The controversial comedic doc takes on people's devotion to spiritual gurus, with filmmaker Vikram Gandhi developing a guru character, Kumare, for himself.  The film took home the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at SXSW earlier this year.  Indiewire reviewed the film at SXSW and interviewed the film's team there too.

An image from Vikram Gandhi's "Kumare."

Though Kino Lorber is often known for taking on more serious fare, the company did make a hit out of "Winnebago Man" last year.

The film will be released in May or June of 2012 and will roll out on VOD during the summer and early fall.

KINO LORBER ACQUIRES KUMARÉ (2011), A DOCUMENTARY BY VIKRAM GANDHI

New York, NY - December 22, 2011 - Kino Lorber, Inc. (www.kinolorber.com) is proud to announce the acquisition of all US rights to the acclaimed and controversial doc Kumaré (2011), by director Vikram Gandhi and producers Brendan Colthurst and Bryan Carmel (all three of  Disposable Television), and executive producer Stephen Feder.

After its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest (SXSW), Kumaré received the festival’s coveted Audience Award (Feature Documentary), given by thousands of audience members participating in the selection process.  In the following months, the film played at a select number of US festivals, gathering a sizable and diverse cult-following across the country.

Kumaré also won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature at the Napa Valley Film Festival and played to sold-out audiences (in early November) at DOC NYC, the leading documentary film festival in New York City.

This deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber CEO & President Richard Lorber, Cinetic’s Dana O'Keefe and Vikram Gandhi. Kino Lorber is planning to open Kumaré nationwide in May or June of 2012, before making the film available on major VOD platforms during the summer and early fall.

Bond Strategy and Influence (www.bondinfluence.com), Marc Schiller’s social media and digital marketing company, whose work contributed to the success of Exit Through the Gift Shop(2010), Senna(2010) and currently The Way(2011), will be partnering with Kino Lorber on the theatrical release of this documentary.  

For the uninitiated, Kumaré is a wise guru from the East who indoctrinated a group of followers in the West.  Kumaré, however, is not real - he is the alter ego of American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi who inpersonated a spiritual leader for the sake of a social experiment designed to challenge one of the most widely accepted taboos: that only a tiny “1%” can connect the rest of the world to a higher power.  

Concealing his true identity from everyone he meets, Kumaré forges profound and spiritual connections with people from all walks of life.  At the same time, in the absurdity of living as an entirely different person, Vikram, the filmmaker, is forced to confront difficult questions about his own identity.

At the height of his popularity, Kumaré unveils his true identity to a core group of disciples who are knee-deep in personal transformation. Will they accept his final teaching? Can this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Kumaré, at once playful and profound, is an insightful look at faith and belief.

About Kino Lorber:

With a library of 700 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent distribution for over 30 years and releases over 20 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics and Alive Mind Cinema banners. In addition, the Company brings over 60 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases and digital distribution on over 15 internet platforms and VOD services.

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