NEON Buys World On Sundance Award-Winning Doc ‘The Painter And The Thief’ – EFM

The Painter and the Thief - Still 1
A still from The Painter and the Thief by Benjamin Ree, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Benjamin Ree Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Benjamin Ree

NEON has picked up world rights to Benjamin Ree’s The Painter And The Thief, which won the world cinema documentary special jury prize at Sundance last month.

In the film, when two paintings by Czech naturalist Barbora Kysilkova are stolen from an Oslo art gallery, the thieves are quickly identified though the paintings and are nowhere to be found. Hoping to learn what happened, Barbora reaches out to one of the thieves, Karl-Bertil Nordland, asking to paint him. What follows over a series of portraits and many years is an unlikely friendship.

Using a structure that cleverly shifts perspectives, Norwegian filmmaker Benjamin Ree unfolds the fraught lives and vulnerabilities of two souls who come to recognize themselves in the other.

It was produced by Ingvil Giske and executive produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker, Morgan Neville.

Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for NEON along with Salma Abdalla from Autolook on behalf of the filmmakers.

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