EXCLUSIVE: Shout! Studios has acquired all North American rights to the feature documentary Refuge from levelFILM, Katie Couric Media and Artemis Rising Foundation. The multi-platform entertainment distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory plans to release the film in theaters and across all major digital platforms early next year.
Directed and produced by award winners Erin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship, Refuge is set in the most diverse square mile in America — Clarkston, Georgia — and follows a Syrian Kurd, a former Klansman, and a town of refugees who seek belonging in a country that blames them for its problems. Swimming against the current of an increasingly polarized and isolated America, each must decide whether they will risk knowing and being known by those who oppose them. Ultimately, Refuge uncovers what is possible when we leave the security of our tribes, and what is at stake for our country if we don’t.
Refuge was exec produced by Katie Couric, Regina K. Scully, Patty Quillin, Sabrina Merage Naim, Geralyn Dreyfous, Pat Mitchell, Brenda Robinson, Caroline Tucker, Common Pictures, More Productions, David Hudakoc, Mary Beth Minnis, Emmanuel Jal, Stephen Nemeth and Betsy Stahl. Recent award wins during the film’s run on the festival circuit include the Atlanta Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Feature, the Cleveland Film Festival’s Standing Up Award, the Boulder Film Festival’s Impact Award, the Sedona Film Festival’s Director’s Choice award for Best Documentary, and a Special Mention at DOC NYC.
“Refuge is a stirring and inspiring blueprint for the healing of America – a story of two unlikely friends who transform their pain into compassion and understanding rather than division and violence,” said Shout! Studios’ SVP of Acquisitions & Originals, Jordan Fields. “It’s a message that speaks to our deepest core value here, and we are honored to send it into a world that sorely needs it.”
“We are so thrilled to partner with the team at Shout! Studios in the release of our film,” added Bernhardt and Blankenship. “We have witnessed their thoughtful and intentional distribution of many beloved movies and TV shows, and we know that our film is in capable hands with them. We can’t wait to launch our film into the world with this passionate and experienced team.”
The Toronto-based indie distribution company levelFILM was founded in 2013. Past credits include such films as Mr. Malcolm’s List, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, Together Together, The Souvenir Part II, Akilla’s Escape and Scarborough.
Shout! Studios’ upcoming releases include the topical drama On Sacred Ground, starring William Mapother and David Arquette; the sci-fi dramedy Linoleum, starring Jim Gaffigan and Rhea Seehorn; the fantasy adventure pic The Magic Flute, from EP Roland Emmerich, starring Jack Wolfe and F. Murray Abraham; the fantasy adventure Three Wishes for Cinderella, starring Scandinavian pop star Astrid Smeplass; the medieval action-adventure Kingslayer, starring Ryan Gage, David Hayman and John Rhys-Davies; and the animated feature Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon.
Shout’s Fields negotiated the deal for Refuge with levelFILM’s Hudakoc and Robin Smith on behalf of the filmmakers.
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