EXCLUSIVE: Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced, which made its world premiere as a Directors’ Fortnight title at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Music Box is planning a theatrical rollout in 2020 followed by a release on home entertainment platforms.
Set in the strict and gender conservative scene of ancient Georgian dance, And Then We Dance follows an obsessive young dancer Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), who has been training at the National Georgian Ensemble with his partner, Mary (Ana Javakishvili), since he was a child. However, when new dancer Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) arrives what begins as a rivalry soon turns to longing as the two draw closer together.
Written and directed by Akin, the film also won the Grand Prix, Best Film, and Best Actor awards at the 2019 Odesa International Film Festival and was placed on the shortlist as a potential 2020 Oscar submission from Sweden in the Best International Film category.
“With this film I find myself really going back to my roots as a filmmaker, working in an organic way, where the real lives of the people in the film and what’s going on in Georgia now affects the story,” says Akin. “It is ever-evolving. Telling the story of young LGBT+ people and their struggles on a smaller scale but also showing the history and situation of Georgia today on a larger scale. This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free.”
The deal was negotiated by Music Box Films’ President William Schopf and Totem Films’ Agathe Valentin.