Shadow Distribution will handle the U.S. release of Liz Mermin's doc "The Beauty Academy of Kabul," which will open in New York at the Angelika Film Center on March 24 and in Los Angeles in April. Other cities will follow, according to the company. The film follows Western women (some of whom emigrated from Afghanistan in the early 1980s), who return to Kabul to open an American-style school for beauticians. Mermin and her crew of three other women, plus a female translator, spent 10 weeks in Kabul building trust on camera and off, and documenting the subtle transformations and amusing cultural exchanges that took place over three intense months. [Brian Brooks]