U.S. distributor Cinedigm has picked up the North American theatrical, digital and home entertainment rights to SXSW Audience Award-winner A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (pictured).
The doc – which premiered at the Austin, Texas festival last month - follows 26-year-old Velasquez and her journey from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist.
Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Velasquez was first bullied in school and later online when a YouTube video labeled her “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” She went on to give a popular TED talk titled “How Do You Define Yourself?” and has also lobbied Congress for a federal anti-bullying bill.
Cinedigm is aiming for a theatrical release in October, followed by full distribution in the physical, television and digital home entertainment channels as well as the distributor’s Docurama digital network in early 2016.
Abby Davis and Kevin Iwashina of sales and advisory firm Preferred Content negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, with Kristin Harris representing Cinedigm.
“Rarely have I seen a film that touches an audience in such a primal way,” says Yolanda Macias, Cinedigm’s executive VP of acquisitions, in a statement. “We think everyone in the world should see this film and that Lizzie should be extolled for her extraordinary work in human rights activism.”
Sarah Hirsh Bordo, director and producer of A Brave Heart, added: “Cinedigm is building a legacy around supporting important films with extraordinary heroes. We wanted more than a distributor; we wanted a partner. Cinedigm is the perfect addition to Team Lizzie and we are excited and ready to share Lizzie’s inspiring story of hope with audiences everywhere.”