London-based distribution outfit Dogwoof has acquired the UK rights for director Emmanuel Gras’s Cannes Critics Week-premiering documentary Makala.
The 96-minute cinéma vérité documentary chronicles a young farmer from a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as earns a living by making and selling charcoal in order to provide his family with a better future.
The film premiered at the 2017 Cannes Critics Week, where it was feted with the Grand Prize and received an honorable mention for the Cannes Golden Eye documentary prize.
The deal was brokered between Dogwoof’s head of distribution and acquisitions Oli Harbottle, and Les Films du Losange’s head of international sales Bérénice Vincent.
The title of Gras’s third feature film means “charcoal” in Swahili, one of four major local languages in the Congo. It was produced by Nicholas Anthomé for Bathysphere.
“Beautifully cinematic in both its simplicity and intimacy, Makala was a worthy winner of the Grand Prize at this year’s Cannes’ Critics Week – it is an honor to be able to share this very special film with UK audiences,” said Harbottle, in a statement.
Makala is represented internationally by Les Films du Losange.
Dogwoof is planning to release the film for UK audiences in early 2018.
RAI picks up Stand By Me commissions
Rome-based indie Stand By Me has secured three new commissions from Italian pubcaster Rai.
I’ll See You in Court follows the real stories of ordinary people’s disputes, following them from the first moment of an argument through to an appearance in court and a final verdict. The 7 x 30-minute series, produced in collaboration with Rai Fiction, will premiere on RAI2 in September.
A new documentary series produced for Rai Storia celebrates the centenary of the Russian Revolution. In The Chronicles of a Revolution, editor-in-chief of daily newspaper La Repubblica Ezio Maura, will explore documents related to the revolution, traveling to Russia to visit the locations where the central conflicts took place. The project is a collaboration between Rai, La Repubblica and publisher Feltrinelli.
Finally, Life is Cool is an original talk show hosted by Beatrice Vio, an Italian wheelchair fencer and a gold-medallist at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. The six-episode series will be dedicated to telling the stories of young people who have overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. It will premiere on RAI1 in October.
BBC takes Bashall to the vertical limit
BBC has commissioned a new series featuring British adventurer Steve Backshall.
In Steve Backshall & The Vertical Climb, Backshall will attempt to scale one of the highest vertical mountain faces in the world — the North Face of the Eiger, in Switzerland.
Produced by ScreenDog Productions and Escapade Media, the series will be available in three weeks of “live” feeds, a completed format of 2 x 50-minutes, and 5 x 3-minute virtual reality shorts.
“The North Face of the Eiger is the single climb I have most coveted in my entire life. It’s within my capabilities, but will take me right to the edge,” said Backshall.
Bakshall expects to attempt the climb in March 2018.