New York-headquartered distributor The Orchard has picked up the U.S. theatrical and digital rights to Jaret Belliveau and Matthew Bauckman’s documentary Kung Fu Elliot (pictured).
The film – which picked up the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary feature at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival – follows amateur martial artist Elliot “White Lightning” Scott as he sets out to be Canada’s first action hero through low-budget action films, despite the strain on his relationship.
“We are all very excited to be working with The Orchard on the film’s U.S. release,” said Kung Fu Elliot producer David Eberts in a statement. “They have an excellent grasp of the film’s sensibility, and a strong plan to reach and engage its audience for a successful roll-out.”
Paul Davidson, senior VP of film and television at The Orchard, added: “The conceit of Kung Fu Elliot, that Canada deserves its own martial arts action hero, is a reasonable goal that had me wondering why it wasn’t so. Then I watched the film, met Eliot ‘White Lightning’ Scott, and got sucked into a vortex of drama that made it crystal clear to me.”
The distributor is to release the film theatrically and on VoD on February 24. The deal was negotiated by The Orchard’s Danielle DiGiacomo and Cargo Film’s David Piperni.