Drafthouse nabs U.S. rights for “Act of Killing”

Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain, has picked up U.S. rights to Joshua Oppenheimer's controversial TIFF hit The Act of Killing (pictured).
October 31, 2012

Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain, has picked up U.S. rights to Joshua Oppenheimer’s controversial TIFF hit The Act of Killing (pictured).

A 30-market theatrical release and awards campaign is planned for next year. With the submissions deadline for next year’s Oscars – which take place March 7 – having past, and the awards landscape already crowded, Drafthouse said it would position the film to play in 2013 for consideration for the 2014 Academy Awards.

The doc, which has backing from exec producers Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

The Act of Killing is a landmark acquisition for us,” said Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League in a statement. “No other film at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival made a comparable residual impression.

“It is an honor to work with Joshua Oppenheimer and his team to introduce such an important, groundbreaking film to audiences around the country.”

Cinephil has international rights to The Act of Killing, and the deal was negotiated by Tim League, James Emanuel Shapiro and Evan Husney on behalf of Drafthouse Films, and Cinephil MD Philippa Kowarsky on behalf of the film’s producers.

In an extensive interview with realscreen published yesterday (October 30), Oppenheimer described the film as “an observational documentary of the imagination,” adding that he wanted to take the subjects of the film and “let them play themselves and be exactly what they want to be and see what cracks and fissures in their own identity emerge.”

Check out the full interview here.

And check out the trailer for the film below:

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.