EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Where Hands Touch, the new film written and directed by Amma Asante that will have its world premiere at next month’s Toronto Film Festival. As part of the deal, the pic, which stars Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay, Abbie Cornish and Christopher Eccleston, will hit U.S. theaters September 14, followed by an exclusive window on DirecTV starting December 6. It will then stream exclusively on Hulu beginning in March 2019.

Amma Asante
Asante
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Where Hands Touch is Asante’s fourth film to bow at Toronto after A Way of Life (2004), Belle (2013) and A United Kingdom (2016). It will premiere there September 9 as a Special Presentation; Asante will also be part of the fest’s women’s rally September 8.

The coming-of-age film is set in 1944 Germany. Leyna (Stenberg), the 15-year old daughter of a white German mother (Cornish) and a black African father, meets Lutz (MacKay), a compassionate member of the Hitler Youth whose father (Eccleston) is a prominent Nazi solider. The pair form
an unlikely connection as Leyna’s mother strives to protect her from the horrors she could face as a mixed-race German citizen. Can Leyna find an ally in Lutz, himself battling a fate laid out before him that he is hesitant to embrace?

“With Where Hands Touch, Amma has crafted a powerful and resonant coming-of-age story that challenges our understanding of the lives impacted by World War II and encourages us to recognize that our shared humanity can be our greatest strength in the face of cruelty and hate,” Vertical co-president Rich Goldberg said. “We can’t wait for audiences to experience it
for themselves this fall.”

The movie is a Tantrum Films production with Umedia, BFI, Pinewood Pictures, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology, Isle of Man Films and British Film Company. Charlie Hanson is producer; Ivan Dunleavy, Christian Eisenbeiss, Phil Hunt, Steve Milne, Robert Norris, Adrian Politowski, Ben Roberts, Compton Ross, Bastien Sirodot and Gilles Waterkeyn are executive producers.

Goldberg and Vertical’s Peter Jarowey sealed the deal with CAA and Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

The Toronto Film Festival runs September 6-16.