Participant, known for bolstering positive social change, said Tuesday it has partnered with Neon to co-distribute Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated documentary Flee. Neon acquired the film after its debut on opening night of the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition lineup in a reported seven-figure deal brokered on behalf of the filmmakers by 30West and Cinephil.
The tie-up marks a reunion between Participant and Neon. The two previously partnered on the narrative feature Monos as well as Alex Gibney’s acclaimed documentary Totally Under Control.
Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym) as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon-to-be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to Rasmussen — his close friend and high school classmate — he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. Through heartfelt interviews between Rasmussen and Nawabi, Flee tells an unforgettable story of self-discovery.
“We were awestruck by Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s beautiful and intimate Flee and are so proud to join with Neon in co-distributing this film,” said Diane Weyermann, chief content officer at Participant.
“We are extremely happy to continue our collaboration with Participant which began with the Look of Silence,” said producers Signe Byrge Sørensen and Monica Hellström.
Flee is produced by Hellström and Sørensen’s Final Cut for Real, in a co-production with animation studio Sun Creature, Denmark, Vivement Lundi!, France, MostFilm, Sweden, and Mer Film, Norway. ARTE France and Vpro, Nederland. Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau executive produced.
The film is supported and produced in association with Vice Studios and Ryot Films and Ahmed’s Left Handed Films. The film is additionally supported by the Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film, Norwegian Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Région Bretagne, CNC, Procirep + Angoa, West Danish Film Fund, The Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, The Animation Workshop, Anis, Fritt Ord, DR, SVT, Yle, Movistar+, I Wonder Pictures, ERR and RTV Slo.