Kino Lorber has acquired North American distribution rights to “Sembene!,” a documentary on the life and legacy of film director, producer and writer Ousmane Sembene. The film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and the deal comes ahead of its international premiere in the Official Selection of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival
Directed by Sembene-biographer Samba Gadjigo (“Ousmane Sembene: The Making of a Militant Artist”) and award-winning producer Jason Silverman (“Olympia”), the film tells the true story of the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a 50-year battle to give Africans the power to tell their own stories. Told through never-before-seen archival footage, the documentary tracks Sembene’s journey from manual laborer to the “Father of African Cinema.”
“We were powerfully impressed by ‘Sembene!,'” said Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber. “Much more than a biopic about a great filmmaker, Sembene becomes larger than life on screen as a political and cultural change agent of enduring importance. We are exhilarated to have the opportunity to introduce his work (and the man) to much wider audiences than have up to now followed his films.”
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Kino Lorber is planning a fall theatrical release for “Sembene!” in conjunction with key national festival engagements. Digital and home media releases are scheduled for 2016.