Epicentre, a Paris-based producer-distrib and DVD publisher, has acquired Venice out-of-competition player "Lullaby to My Father," a documentary by Israel's Amos Gitai.
"Lullaby," produced by Israel's Agav Films and Switzerland's Elefant Films, is an homage to Gitai's father, Polish-born architect Munio Weinraub. Doc traces Weinraub's journey from Germany's prestigious Bauhaus school to Palestine, where he fled after being imprisoned by the Nazis during WWII.
Once in Haifa, Weinraub became an architect and inspired his son, Amos, to follow in his footsteps.
Epicentre will roll out "Father" in France Jan. 16, and will then release a double DVD comprising "Father" and "Carmel," Gitai's 2009 feature about his mother, Efratia.
"What sparked my interest in this documentary is the participation of Jeanne Moreau (voiceover) and Yael Abecassis (onscreen), as well as the architecture theme," said Epicentre topper Daniel Chabannes. "We know there's room in French theaters for documentaries with a depth and cinematic quality like this one."
The exec cited the controversial doc "Les nouveaux chiens de garde" (The New Watchdogs) distribbed by Epicentre last year, as an example. The doc denounced what it called influential but corrupt French journalists and became a local sleeper hit.
As with "Chiens," Epicentre is planning a targeted marketing campaign. "We'll connect with architecture schools and universities," Chabannes said.
Meanwhile, Epicentre will distribute another Venice out-of-competition title, "Gebo and the Shadow," by venerable Portuguese helmer Manoel de Oliveira on Sept. 26. It's Epicentre's fifth collaboration with the 103-year-old director.
Chabannes said Oliveira's last two films, "The Strange Case of Angelica" and "Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl," performed well in Gaul. The company will position "Gebo" exclusively in arthouse theaters and is planning 40-to-50 playdates.
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