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Film Acquisition Rundown, Week of June 20: Kino Lorber Plans Awards Push for ‘Tower,’ Factory 25 Gets Weird With ‘For the Plasma’

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that's been picked up around the globe.


Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Keith Maitland’s animated documentary, “Tower.”  The film explores the tragic story of America’s first mass school shooting, where a lone gunman climbed a clock tower at the University of Texas in 1966, shooting 49 people and killing 17. The film had its world premiere at SXSW 2016, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for best documentary feature.

The film has also picked up awards at numerous other festivals, including Dallas International, Montclair, RiverRun, and DeadCenter Film Festival. Kino Lorber will release “Tower” theatrically on October 12 at New York’s Film Forum, to be followed by a national rollout, marking the 50th anniversary of the shooting. The company is also planning an “aggressive awards campaign for the doc, as the issue continues to be as urgently pressing as ever.”

"Sand Storm" Elite Zexer and Lamis Ammar

Elite Zexer and Lamis Ammar of “Sand Storm”

Daniel Bergeron

– Kino Lorber has also picked up North American rights to the feature film “Sand Storm,” the directorial debut of Israeli filmmaker Elite Zexer from Beta Cinema. After taking the top awards at the Jerusalem and Locarno Film Festival’s work-in-progress sections, the film had its North American premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic award. The film was also shown in the Panorama section at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival and recently won the New Directors competition at the Seattle International Film Festival.

The film will premiere at Film Forum on September 28 and expand to other key national markets during the fall.

– Monument Releasing will release the Tim Roth starrer “Chronic” in theaters on September 23 in NYC and September 30 in LA, with additional cities to follow. The film premiered and won the Best Screenplay award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Written and directed by the internationally acclaimed Mexican auteur Michel Franco, the film follows the story of David, an in-home nurse who works with terminally ill patients. Efficient and dedicated to his profession, David develops strong, even intimate, relationships with each person he cares for. But outside of his work, David is ineffectual, awkward, and reserved – effects of his chronic depression – and he needs each patient as much as they need him. Having long carried a burden of guilt and remorse, David must face his past in order to heal.

– Factory 25 has acquired the rights to the “delusional comedy” “For the Plasma.” The BAMcinemaFest-premiering film marks the directorial debut by Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan, with a soundtrack by legendary Japanese experimental musician Keiichi Suzuki. Factory 25 will premiere the film theatrically at Anthology Film Archives in New York on July 21 and Facets Cinematheque in Chicago on July 29, followed by a theatrical rollout across the country.

For The Plasma

“For The Plasma”

Factory 25 will also release the film digitally, premiering the film on July 22 via Fandor and Vimeo followed by iTunes, Amazon, cable VOD and many other digital outlets. A physical limited-edition set, consisting of a Blu-ray version of the film accompanied by a vinyl LP of composer Keiichi Suzuki’s original score, will be available in the fall.

READ MORE: Dennis Hopper’s Swan Song ‘The Last Film Festival’ Acquired by Monterey Media

– FilmBuff has announced the first international theatrical, home video and TV distribution deals for “Lazer Team,” the sci-fi/action comedy from pioneering production studio Rooster Teeth. As part of this new deal, FilmBuff has secured a distribution deal for the film in Japan with AT Entertainment, whose recent acquisitions of American films include Roland Emmerich’s historical drama “Stonewall” and Benson/Moorehead-helmed horror/romance “Spring.”

The film will be released theatrically in Japan on July 19 of this year, followed by its Japanese home video release in late August. The film will also be released in German-speaking Europe by Edel AG, whose license will begin in February of 2017.

– Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution and Acquisitions and The Film Arcade have announced that Andrew Neel’s Sundance premiere “Goat” will be released theatrically on September 23, as well as on Digital and On Demand. The Film Arcade will handle theatrical distribution in New York, Los Angeles and additional markets across the U.S.  The critically acclaimed drama, which stars actor-musician Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer and James Franco, is produced by Killer Films and Rabbit Bandini.

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