EXCLUSIVE: Cleopatra Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights outside Russian territories to Act & Punishment, the music documentary about Russian activists and punk rockers Pussy Riot. The company plans a November theatrical bow in the U.S., in conjunction with a soundtrack release and a U.S. tour by the band to promote the film.
The feature-length pic written and directed by Evgeny Mitta features Pussy Riot bandmembers Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, who were jailed in Russia in 2011 after protesting the country’s human rights oppression — specifically targeting the election of Vladimir Putin as president of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church’s ties to him.
The film picks up after their release from prison and follows their evolution from political activists to punk-rockers that gained plenty of worldwide attention included especially after their widely seen concert at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where bandmembers were attacked by Cossacks who were hired as security at the Games.
Mitta and Alyona Gorlanova produced the pic from Russia-based 2Plan2 and Paperworks. The distribution deal was brokered by Cleopatra founder and CEO Brian Perera, VP and GM Tim Yasui, and by Antipode International Sales’ Olga Ulybysheva on behalf of the filmmakers.
Cleopatra just released Peter O’Toole’s final film Diamond Cartel and on April 28 will bow horror-thriller The Black Room starring Natasha Henstridge, Lin Shaye and Dominique Swain. It also is near a production start on its Lynyrd Skynyrd biopic Street Survivors.