By Madeline Raynor | Indiewire June 18, 2013 at 2:47PM
Sundance Selects has acquired North American rights to Hilla Medalia's documentary "Dancing in Jaffa," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine as he returns to his hometown Jaffa, Israel expecting his old home but greeted by new racial animosity. A firm believer that dance can build self-esteem and social awareness, Dulaine brings his popular Dancing Classrooms program to 5 ethnically diverse Jaffa schools. Dulaine sends the best children to a dance competition, boldly pairing Palestinian and Jewish children and challenging the children's and their family's beliefs.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films,
said: "Hilla Medalia has created a moving film that highlights the power
of dance to unite even the most divided of worlds. We expect this film
to be talked about well beyond the dance community since
it has such a powerful global message."
Sundance Selects has a history of championing dance documentaries, previously distributing Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated 3-D documentary "Pina" about dance pioneer Pina Bausch and Bess Kargman’s documentary "First Position," which follows several young dancers from around the globe preparing for one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.
The film was
produced by Diane Nabatoff, Neta Zwebner-Zaibert and Medalia and
co-produced by Keshet Broadcasting LTD. Executive producers are Morgan
Jeremy Chilnick, La Toya Jackson &
Jeffré Phillips and Nigel Lythgoe. Dan Setton, J. Arnhold, Robert
Machinist and Jonathan Shukat also executive produced.