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The Orchard Buys Cannes Colombian Crime Thriller ‘Birds of Passage’

The latest from the "Embrace of the Serpent" team will get a theatrical debut from the indie distributor.

“Birds of Passage”

The Orchard has picked up North American distribution rights to Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s crime thriller “Birds of Passage” out of the Cannes Film Festival, Variety reports. The Spanish-language film debuted in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the festival last week.

Guerra’s last feature, 2015’s “Embrace of the Serpent,” was distributed by Oscilloscope and landed a best foreign language film Oscar nomination for the Colombian director.

“The film was always conceived as a theatrical experience, and there’s really no better way to appreciate it than in the cinema,” said co-directors Gallego and Guerro and producer Katrin Pors in a statement provided to the outlet. “We are very happy that audiences will have the opportunity to see it in the way it was intended.”

Per the film’s official synopsis, “‘Birds of Passage’ charts the origins of the Colombian drug trade, through the epic story of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970s. When greed, passion and honor collide, a fratricidal war breaks out that will put their lives, their culture and their ancestral traditions at stake.”

In his Cannes review, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote, “While it never reaches the psychedelic heights of Guerra’s previous effort and relies on a more conventional pattern of events, ‘Birds of Passage’ delivers another fascinating tone poem about Colombia’s fractured identity.”

“‘Birds of Passage’ swept us up immediately into an engrossing familial drama surrounded by a world bursting with stunning color and sound,” added Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s EVP of Film and Television. “Cristina and Ciro have delivered something altogether special and unique that we are honored to be part of.”

The film’s cast includes actors Carmiña Martínez, Jose Acosta, Jhon Narváez, Natalia Reyes, Jose Vicente Cots, Juan Martínez, and Greider Meza. You can watch the film’s trailer below.

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