DRAFTHOUSE FILMS TO UNLEASH
'THE ACT OF KILLING'
Acclaimed & Uncompromising Werner Herzog and Errol Morris
Exec-Produced Doc Will Open Theatrically in 2013
LOS ANGELES, CA - October 31st, 2012 - Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced today the acquisition of US rights to The Act Of Killing, the breakout Danish documentary that shook audiences at this year's Toronto and Telluride International Film Festivals. Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, the film ventures deep into the minds of former Indonesian death squad leaders who are challenged to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. A 30-market theatrical release and awards campaign for Best Documentary Feature is planned for The Act Of Killing in 2013.
Chronicling one of the most overlooked genocides in recent history, The Act Of Killing utilizes dramatization to illustrate the banal state of corruption and impunity the unrepentant, locally celebrated former executioners inhabit. The film earned early praise from master documentarians Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Into The Abyss) and Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog Of War), whose enthusiasm for the film lead to their role as Executive Producers. "I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade," says Herzog, "it is unprecedented in the history of cinema." Morris adds, "like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality...an amazing and impressive film."
The film has been championed by critics for its innovative and uncompromising approach including Steven Zeitchik of The Los Angeles Times who wrote, "The Act Of Killing could well change how you view the documentary form," and Tom Charity for CNN who agrees, saying the film is a "radical development in the documentary form and as an explosive journalistic expose."
"The Act Of Killing is a landmark acquisition for us. No other film at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival made a comparable residual impression," says Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League, "it is an honor to work with Joshua Oppenheimer and his team to introduce such an important, groundbreaking film to audiences around the country."
"The Act of Killing is a film that inspires powerful reactions in many viewers, but among the most powerful have come from the team at Drafthouse. I am therefore extremely happy to have such passion fuelling the film's U.S. release. And because The Act of Killing is an indictment of impunity everywhere, not least in the United States, our American theatrical release is particularly meaningful -- and it couldn't possibly be in better or more caring hands."
The Act of Killing was produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for one of Denmark's leading
documentary production companies, Final Cut for Real. "Throughout the production of The Act of Killing it has been our ambition that this film should reach a theatrical audience. We are therefore extremely thrilled to collaborate with Drafthouse on the US release of the film. Drafthouse came highly recommended by other Scandinavian producers and directors and we look forward to working together on getting The Act Of Killing to the American public."
The deal was negotiated by Tim League, James Emanuel Shapiro and Evan Husney on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Philippa Kowarsky of Cinephil on behalf of the film's producers.