Distributors Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber have acquired all North American rights to Eva Vitija’s Loving Highsmith, a documentary portrait of novelist Patricia Highsmith that had its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival, for theatrical release this September.
Based on Highsmith’s personal writings and accounts of her family and lovers, including newly published diaries and notebooks, the doc is described as a unique look at the life and writing of the celebrated American author, whose works provided the basis of such acclaimed films as Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Todd Haynes’ Carol (adapted from a partially autobiographical novel that was notable for being one of the only examples of 1950s lesbian pulp fiction to have a happy ending).
Despite her success, Highsmith was forced to lead a double life and hide her many love affairs with women from both her family and the public, reflecting on the subject only in her unpublished writings. The doc combines excerpts from these texts, which are voiced by actress Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), with archive of Highsmith and clips from some of the most famous film adaptations of her work.
Loving Highsmith is written and directed by Eva Vitija, produced by Franziska Sonder and Maurizius Staerkle Drux, and coproduced by Carl-Ludwig Rettinger in coproduction with Lichtblick Film, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, RSI Radio Televisione Svizzera and ZDF/Arte. The deal for the film was negotiated by Zeitgeist co-presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, Jason Ishikawa for Cinetic, and Salma Abdalla for Autlook.