EXCLUSIVE: Abramorama has acquired U.S. and Canadian theatrical distribution rights to Maineland, the documentary from Beijing Taxi filmmaker Miao Wang that bowed at last year’s SXSW, where it won a a Special Jury Award for Excellence in Observational Cinema. The docu will begin its nationwide rollout March 16 at the AMC Empire 25 in New York, with a digital release to follow on the Amazon Festival Stars platform.

The film centers on the cross-cultural experience of “parachute students,” Chinese youth whose parents pay top dollar to send them to private U.S. high schools, focusing on two affluent and cosmopolitan Chinese teenagers as they settle into a boarding school in rural Maine. Wang, who was born and Beijing and moved to the U.S. at age 12, has a first-hand understanding of the challenge for international students to assimilate to their new environment while maintaining their own cultural identity – as well as the challenge for host communities welcoming an influx of young Chinese.

“We’re thrilled to be releasing Miao Wang’s thoughtful and subtly affecting film at a time when we need to understand the value of diversity and cultural dialogue more than ever,” said Abramorama COO Karol Martesko-Fenster. “It’s a special testament to her work that anyone can relate to the experience of the students whose lives she tracks so artfully.”

Wang produced with Violet Du Feng and Damon G. Smith for Three Waters Productions.

Check out the trailer above, and the poster here:

Maineland Poster