Super LTD, a boutique subsidiary of U.S. film producer and distributor Neon, has acquired the North American rights to Three Minutes – A Lengthening, a documentary coproduced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.
The critically acclaimed film, directed by Bianca Stigter and narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, made its world premiere at the Giornate Degli Autori in Venice before screening at Telluride and the Toronto International Film Festival. It will also be included in the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and at DOC NYC this fall.
Three Minutes presents a home movie shot by David Kurtz on a European holiday in 1938 in a Jewish town in Poland. The footage was discovered by Kurtz’s grandson, writer Glenn Kurtz, in his parents’ Florida home. It captures the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk a year before the Nazis invaded and most were eventually killed in the Treblinka extermination camp.
Stigter, a Dutch historian and cultural critic, takes the footage and runs it forward and backwards, often frame by frame, circling the same moments repeatedly to unravel human stories hidden in the film. Three Minutes is her first documentary feature, but Stigter has worked as an associate producer on two of McQueen’s previous films, 12 Years a Slave and Widows, and published the book Atlas of an Occupied city: Amsterdam 1940-1945 in 2019.
Three Minutes was produced by Floor Onrust and Family Affair Films in coproduction with Lammas Park, with the support of The Netherlands Film Fund and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. The documentary was informed by Glenn Kurtz’s 2014 book Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film.
Super LTD has said it plans to release the film theatrically next year. The news comes after Super LTD earned its first Academy Award nomination this year with Quo Vadis, Aida?, which also won the Independent Spirit Award for Best International Feature.