Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights to Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire At Sea (Fuocoammare), the refugee documentary that just won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival over the weekend. It’s a portrait of life on the Italian island of Lampedusa and how the migrant crisis has come to impact the community. A fall theatrical release is planned.
In Berlin, the film was a heavy favorite for the fest’s top award for its timely study that has become a metaphor for the flight of refugees to Europe. Win it did, with Berlin jury president Meryl Streep saying her panel was “swept away” by the docu.
Rosi — the Italian director who won the Venice Golden Lion in 2013 with another docu, Sacro Gra — dedicated the prize Saturday night to the inhabitants of Lampedusa, “who were always accepting to people arriving there.” Of the refugee crisis, which has been top of mind all during the Berlinale, he said: “For the first time, Europe is considering making certain policies and I’m not happy with what I see. It is not acceptable that people die crossing the sea to escape from tragedy.”
Kino Lorber also acquired the Berlin 2015 Golden Bear winner, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi.
“Gianfranco Rosi captured the hearts and minds of the Berlinale this year with what will become one of the essential films of our times,” said Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber in announcing the deal today. “We could not be more thrilled to bring this film to North American audiences later this year.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Lorber and Daniela Elstner of Doc & Film International.