“Heart of a Dog,” “Stay Awhile” find buyers

Laurie Anderson's long-awaited doc Heart of a Dog (pictured) will get a U.S. theatrical and broadcast release through Abramorama and HBO, respectively, while UpStream Flix has picked up international rights to Jessica Edwards' Stay Awhile.
September 4, 2015

Ahead of its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival today, Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (pictured) has been acquired by New York-based distributor Abramorama, Canadian distributor Films We Like and HBO Documentary Films.

While Abramorama has picked up all U.S. theatrical rights, Toronto-headquartered distributor Films We Like is handling the doc’s Canadian release. HBO has exclusive U.S. television rights to the film.

Produced by Dan Janvey and Laurie Anderson, the doc centers on Anderson’s late rat terrier Lolabelle and is described as a “personal essay that weaves together childhood memories; video diaries; philosophical musings on data collection, surveillance culture and the Buddhist conception of the afterlife.”

Abramorama is to release the film theatrically on October 21 at New York’s Film Forum, followed by a national release, while Films We Like will also release the film in Canada on October 21. HBO will air the film in 2016.

Meanwhile, following its screening at Telluride, Heart of a Dog will also screen in competition at the Venice Film Festival, TIFF and the New York Film Festival.

Deals for the doc were negotiated by Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama and HBO, with Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers. Elsewhere, the Canadian deal was handled by Films We Like founder Ron Mann and Abramovitz, who sold the Canadian rights to the distributor after first acquiring North American rights to the doc.

Elsehwere, Jessica Edwards’ documentary Stay Awhile, a portrait of Canadian music group The Bells, has been acquired by international distributor UpStream Flix.

The Buck Productions-made film tells the story of the Montreal-based group, which became popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s as one of the first Canadian groups to break into the U.S. Stay Awhile - which screened at both the Whistler Film Festival and Hot Docs – covers the band’s music as well as their personal lives behind the scenes.

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.