A group of theater owners from giant Regal to independent cinemas have signed on to screen Ukrainian director Oles Sanin’s 2014 feature film The Guide starting Friday, with proceeds going to relief efforts for the war-ravaged country.
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It’s not clear at how many locations, but the expanding list of national and regional chains that have agreed to show the film includes Regal, National Amusements, Harkins, Landmark, Laemmele, Cinepolis, Malco Theatrers, the Angelika Group, B&B Theatres, Santikos Theatres, Cinemex, Xscape Theatres, Premiere Cinemas, Imagine of Canada, Celebration, Bow Tie Cinemas, Milgram Theatres and Mini Theatres.
About 100 independent cinemas also have committed. Organizers say that puts the number of participating theaters in the unspecified “hundreds” so far.
Sanin is currently locked down in Kyiv but provided a introduction, now attached, conveying the urgent need for assistance as Russian attacks intensify.
The Guide, which was Ukraine’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, is set in the 1930s as the Soviet regime pursues agricultural and other repressive policies causing the death of millions of Ukrainians. (A trailer is below.)
The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition will be delivering the film by satellite, and PaperAirplane Media will provide marketing assets and support materials. Distribution is being handled by Falling Forward Films. All parties are working free of charge.
Donations from cinemas will be forwarded to a special Ukraine Relief Fund being managed by Human & Civil Rights Organizations of America. President of the board and longtime activist Marshall Strauss also happens to own a movie theater in suburban Boston that was the first to run the film last weekend.
Now, he said, cinemas across the country are agreeing to show it. “Americans have this unique opportunity to stand with the people of Ukraine,” he said. “We are all looking for a way to help. We now have it.”
The Guide won the Best Actor and Cinematography awards at the Odessa International Film Festival and was nominated for the grand prize at both the Odessa and Warsaw International Film Festivals.
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