Koch Lorber is Wedded to "Syrian Bride" for Mid '05 U.S. Release
by Brian Brooks
Koch Lorber Films has acquired all U.S. rights to director Eran Riklis' feature, "The Syrian Bride," the company's president Richard Lorber announced recently. The film, which has won a number of international festival prizes, including the FIPRESCI Critics prize at the Montreal World Cinema Festival, will continue to play the festival circuit in the U.S. and abroad before its planned American theatrical release in mid-2005. The deal for the French-German-Israeli co-production was made with France's TF1 International and negotiated by its U.S. sales head Dimitri Stephanides and Lorber.
Filmed in the disputed Golan Heights with a large Palestinian cast, the film takes place in an Arab Druze village where an ethnic Syrian woman is about to depart to marry a Syrian T.V. star. Once she crosses into Syria, however, she will never be able to return to her family in the Israeli occupied territory. As the wedding approaches, the event brings in not only the bride, but Israeli and Syrian border police, Palestinian demonstrators, Druze party guests, and even the U.N. in addition to frustrating border bureaucracy.
"Out of the hundred or so films I've screened at festivals around the world over the last nine months, 'The Syrian Bride' is a standout achievement," commented Lorber in a statement. "Rarely has a film communicated so poignantly, with such compassionate humor and intelligence, to so many different audiences. The whole Koch Lorber team is dedicated flat-out to bring this stunner to a wide public at theaters across the country."
Recent Koch Lorber releases include Lars von Trier and Jorgan Leth's "The Five Obstructions," Denmark's official entry this year for foreign-language consideration for the Oscars. Other upcoming films include the re-release of Jacques Demy's 1970 feature "Donkey Skin" starring Catherine Deneuve and Ruth Leitman's documentary, "Lipstick and Dynamite."