Sundance Selects has picked up Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a doc about the famous Chinese artist and dissident (pictured), which recently screened at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.
The distributor, which acquired the North American rights, is planning a major theatrical release in the summer that will coincide with Weiwei’s first trip outside of China since his three-month-long detention in 2011.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry was selected for the Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance at its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
First time director Klayman had access to the artist, resulting in a film that offers a “nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures,” according to Sundance Selects.
Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “Alison Klayman has delivered a major achievement in documentary filmmaking with this story about the importance of Ai Weiwei in his fight with the Chinese government for greater transparency and basic human rights.
“In giving Ai Weiwei a voice, she uncovers that he is a natural born star and one of the most charismatic and fascinating subjects to appear in modern documentary filmmaking.”
Klayman added: “In Sundance Selects, we have a partner whose commercial success in the independent documentary arena is unparalleled and who really understands the mainstream appeal of Ai Weiwei and the film.
“Never Sorry is a window into modern China and one of its most compelling figures, but it’s also a inspiring story about how individual courage and expression, combined with creative use of social media, can change opinions and in turn, the world.”
The film was produced by Klayman and Adam Schlesinger and executive produced by Karl Katz, Julie Goldman and Andrew Cohen. It is a United Expression Media film in association with Muse Film & Television.