North American rights to “The Rescuers” by director Michael King have been picked up by Menemsha Films. The doc received the “Best of the Fest” award at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival where it debuted in January.
Full acquisition release follows:
Menemsha Films, the film distribution company founded by Neil Friedman, has acquired the North American distribution rights to the critically acclaimed documentary THE RESCUERS from Emmy winning director/producer Michael King and producer Joyce D. Mandell.
THE RESCUERS is a unique film with a powerful message. In the 20th century, over 100 million people died from genocide. The film traces the compelling journey of Stephanie Nyombayire, a young Rwandan anti-genocide activist who lost 100 members of her family in her country’s genocide in 1994. Traveling across 15 countries and three continents, Nyombayire and Sir Martin Gilbert, the renowned British historian, interview survivors and descendants of 12 non-Jewish diplomats who willingly sacrificed their careers, families, and livelihoods to go against their countries’ polices to save tens of thousands of Jews from the unspeakable horrors that awaited them in the Nazi death camps. During the journey, Nyombayire discovers potential solutions for the ongoing genocide in Darfur and elsewhere. What emerges is the “power of goodness” – a testament to the ways in which the inherent good in, the human spirit can trump institutional evil.
“I’m proud to see how THE RESCUERS has been touching and inspiring the next generation and all of us,” said director/producer Michael King. “The film provokes us to think deeply about the ways we can prevent the horrors of genocide that we see today and will see in the future. It also causes us to ask: How many more innocent lives need to be lost before diplomats across the world are trained to use their power to intervene when they are needed most? ‘Never again’ needs to mean something. Having Menemsha Films on board with us will help get this film to be seen by people everywhere.”
“We are very excited and proud to be distributing THE RESCUERS,“ said Menemsha Films founder and president Neil Friedman. “It’s an important story that we know audiences will truly take to. We look forward to working with Michael King and Joyce D. Mandell.”
THE RESCUERS had its world premiere at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival in January where it was named to the festival’s coveted “Best of the Fest”. It was also the exclusive film to screen as part of the 42nd NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood. The film most recently played to sold out screenings at the 37th Seattle International Film Festival, AFI/Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Filmmaker Michael King has produced, directed and written documentaries, music videos and a feature film. In 1991, his MTV music video on Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech I Have A Dream received national recognition. In 1995 he produced, directed and wrote a PBS documentary titled “Making A Living, the African-American Experience.” King’s PBS documentary on youth violence in America, entitled “Bangin’” won an Emmy and International Television and Video Association Award for Best Documentary and Best Editing.
Menemsha Films is dedicated to distributing the highest-quality art house films, hand-picked from around the globe. Menemsha Films set a record, discovering and representing five Academy Award nominees for five years in a row.