EXCLUSIVE: Cinema Guild has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Jia Zhangke’s documentary Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue. The Chinese film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February and made its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival earlier this fall. Cinema Guild is eyeing a release for early next year.
Zhangke (Ash Is Purest White, A Touch of Sin) delivers here a vital document of a changing Chinese society, interviewing three prominent authors—Jia Pingwa, Yu Hua and Liang Hong—born in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, respectively, and all from the same Shanxi province where the filmmaker also grew up. In their stories, the dire circumstances they faced in their rural villages and small towns are recounted, and the substantial political effort undertaken to address it, from the social revolution of the 1950s through the unrest of the late 1980s.
“We’re so excited to welcome a new film from Jia Zhangke into our catalog,” said Cinema Guild president Peter Kelly. “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue showcases his unique gift for revealing truths incredibly specific to his homeland and yet at the heart of who we are as a human race.”
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The deal was negotiated by Kelly with mk2’s Fionnuala Jamison.
Cinema Guild’s upcoming releases include Hong Sangsoo’s The Woman Who Ran, Matías Piñeiro’s Isabella and Kazik Radwanski’s Anne at 13,000 ft. Recent theatrical releases include Wang Xiaoshuai’s Chinese Portrait, Angela Schanelec’s I Was at Home, But… and RaMell Ross’s Oscar-nominated Hale County This Morning, This Evening.
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