KINO LORBER ACQUIRES ALL US RIGHTS TO MOHAMMAD RASOULOF’S IRANIAN DRAMA MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN
“Brave … the first film since the declaration of the Islamic Republic to confront so directly the brutality of the feared security apparatus.”
– Alissa Simon, Variety
“A brave and important undertaking … Demands to be seen as widely as possible.”
– Jonathan Romney, Screen International
Kino Lorber is pleased to announce the acquisition of all US rights to writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof’s (Iron Island, Goodbye)Manuscripts Don’t Burn, an Iranian drama about state-based censorship.
Mr. Rasoulof’s latest film continues his defiant return to filmmaking after being sentenced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court (in 2010) to six years in jail and a 20-year prohibition from filmmaking. (The prison term was later reduced to one year.) Much like he did with his previous film Goodbye (2012), Rasoulof filmed Manuscripts Don’t Burn without federal permission – and in order to maintain the safety of the film’s crew, their names have been removed from the film’s final credits.
Manuscripts Don’t Burn screened at last year’s Cannes (Un Certain Regard) and won the festival’s coveted FIPRESCI Prize. The film also played at the Toronto International Film Festival, in the Contemporary World Cinema section, and is now slated for a one-week theatrical premiere at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in mid June – before it opens in key art house markets throughout the United States. Kino Lorber will release the film on the educational market, as well as on VOD, home media and SVOD later this year.
This highly charged political thriller draws on real events to tell a unfortunately common tale or repression in contemporary Iran. Kasra, an Iranian author who’s been secretly writing his memoirs, is under strict monitoring by the country’s security service. His stories are related to his time in jail as a political prisoner and to other events connected to his life as an intellectual in Iran. After preparing his writings to be published as a book, Kasra gets ready to leave the country – but the security service apparatus uncovers his plan before he leaves the country. Next on their agenda: destroy his manuscripts.
After flying to Iran in September, 2013, with the intent to return to Hamburg in late September, Mr. Rasoulof had his passport confiscated and remains unable to leave Iran until this day.
This deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber and Adeline Fontan Tessaur at Elle Driver.