Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe is set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, and its depiction of disenchanted youth features a cast of non-professional, deaf actors. The pic’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without subtitles, music or voice-over. It won three honors this year in the Cannes sidebar. Drafthouse Films plans a theatrical and digital rollout sometime in 2015.
In the pic, a boy enters a specialized boarding school for the deaf. Alone in this new and unfamiliar place, he must find his way through the school’s hierarchy. Sergey quickly encounters the tribe, a student gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After passing their hazing rituals and being inducted into the group, he takes part in several robberies and begins to work his way up the chain of command to become pimp-protector for two of the girls, who turn tricks at the local truck stop. Finding himself in love with one of them, he ultimately breaks all the unwritten rules of the tribe, with tragic consequences.
The deal was negotiated by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato from Alpha Violet and James Emanuel Shapiro and CEO Tim League from Drafthouse.