Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to Cunningham Alla Kovgan’s documentary about Merce Cunningham, one of the world’s most influential and groundbreaking choreographers. The film immerses viewers in the choreographer’s world and will be released in both 2D and 3D later this year. Dogwoof will release in the UK, Sophie Dulac Distribution in France, and Camino Films in Germany.
Cunningham follows Merce’s artistic evolution over three decades of risk and discovery (1944–1972). It will trace his career from his early years as a struggling dancer in postwar New York to his emergence as one of the world’s most visionary choreographers. The 3D technology weaves together Merce’s philosophies and stories, creating a journey into his innovative work. The film will be a tribute to one of the world’s greatest modern dance artists with never-before-seen material and promises a breathtaking experience of dance.
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“3D technology inspired me to think of dance as a truly cinematic experience,” said Kovgan. “Merce, with his dedication to exploring every technological invention of his time, and 3D felt like an ideal fit. I was particularly moved by his story of becoming Merce in the 1950s and 1960s, his love for dance and his triumphant spirit persevering against all odds.”
In conjunction with the centenary, three globally-renowned institutions – BAM in New York City, CAP UCLA in Los Angeles, and the Barbican in London – will present ninety-minute performances comprised of 100 solos choreographed by Cunningham. Called Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event, all three sold-out performances will be live-streamed.
Written and directed by Kovgan, Cunningham is produced by Helge Albers, Ilann Girard, Alla Kovgan, Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Kelly Gilpatrick and Derrick Tseng for Achtung Panda! Media GmbH, Arsam International and Chance Operations in association with DocWorks and Bord Cadre Films, with the participation of La Maison and CowProd. Major funding provided by Arte/BR.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden with Dogwoof’s CEO Anna Godas and Head of Sales Ana Vicente on behalf of the filmmakers.
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