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Magnolia Pictures Acquires North Korean Kidnapping Tale ‘The Lovers and the Despot’

Magnolia Pictures Acquires North Korean Kidnapping Tale 'The Lovers and the Despot'

READ: Sundance Exclusive: Clip From ‘The Lovers And The Despot’ Goes Over The Border Into North Korea

Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the documentary “The Lovers and the Despot,” which saw its premiere this week at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Co-directors Rob Cannan (“Three Miles North of Molkom”) and Ross Adams’ stranger-than-fiction documentary chronicles the bizarre circumstances in which filmmaker Shin Sang-ok and actress Choi Eun-hee, South Korea’s darling celebrity couple, were kidnapped and forced to be Kim Jong-il’s personal filmmakers.

While imprisoned and planning their escape, the filmmaking duo was forced to produce 17 movies for the film-obsessed despot. But while working for the megalomaniacal leader, the cunning couple began fostering a trusting relationship with the dictator as a means of gaining an opportunity to flee back to their native South Korea.

“Rob and Ross have captured a jaw-dropping, true-life story whose plot could have been pulled straight out of a Hollywood spy thriller,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “‘The Lovers and the Despot’ is a powerful, elegantly crafted film that needs to be seen to be believed.”

Before Magnolia releases the film sometime in 2016, the documentary will have its European premiere next month at the Berlin International Film Festival.

READ: Sundance Review: Kim Jong-Il Kidnaps A Filmmaking Couple In Documentary ‘The Lovers And The Despot’

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