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Qatari Falconer Documentary ‘The Challenge’ Lands at Kino Lorber

Variety logo Variety 5/5/2017 Dave McNary
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Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to “The Challenge,” Yuri Ancarani’s documentary focusing on a group of wealthy Qatari sheikhs who moonlight as amateur falconers.

“The Challenge” premiered in August at the Locarno Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award at the festival’s Cineasti del Presente section. In 2017, the film played at True/False, SXSW, and New Directors/New Films in New York.

The film looks at the rituals that define these men’s lives — such as driving a Ferrari with a pet cheetah in the passenger seat — as they spare no expense in the pursuit of their own idiosyncratic wishes.

The film is scheduled for an exclusive New York engagement starting Sept. 8 before expanding nationwide during the fall. A VOD and home media release is scheduled for 2018.

The deal was negotiated between Manuela Buono of Slingshot Films, and Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber.

“Yuri Ancarani is the type of visionary and ambitious filmmaker that we love to introduce to American audiences,” Lorber said. “His feature debut ‘The Challenge’ is an unforgettable cinematic experience that’s going to both delight the minds and astound the eyes of audiences everywhere.”

Buono said, “We always admired the company that distributed ‘Fire at Sea’ and ‘Le Quattro Volte’ in the US, and we think that Yuri Ancarani’s visionary work fits perfectly in this line-up.”

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