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Sundance Documentary ‘Motherland’ Acquired by FilmRise

Variety logo Variety 5/30/2017 Dave McNary

FilmRise has bought exclusive North American distribution rights to Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary “Motherland,” which won the world cinema documentary special jury award for commanding vision at Sundance.

The deal was made with London-based sales and distribution company Dogwoof. The film will be released theatrically in the summer via The Film Collaborative, and will have its television premiere on PBS’s POV series in the fall.

“Motherland” takes place in one of the world’s largest and busiest maternity hospitals in the Philippines. Diaz follows three women as they navigate through the  jam-packed delivery rooms to overflowing corridors. The film also screened at the 2017 Berlinale in the specialty forum section.

“Motherland” was produced by Ramona S. Diaz and Rey Cuerdo and executive produced by Brillante Ma Mendoza, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, and Chris White. The film will also be available to stream later this year exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Dennis Harvey gave “Motherhood” a positive review at Sundance for Variety: “In highly developed nations, the birth process is usually one dominated by medical science — perhaps overly so — with the mother in virtual quarantine conditions. But there’s something to be said for a more communal approach, like the one colorfully portrayed in ‘Motherland.’ U.S. documentarian Ramona S. Diaz’s latest is a lively and engaging glimpse at a Manila maternity ward where overcrowding and limited technological resources have forced some solutions that may not be ideal, but are admirable nonetheless.”

The deal was negotiated between Fisher and FilmRise’s Max Einhorn with Dogwoof Head of Sales Anna Vicente.

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