Triton Pictures has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to the fest circuit hit rockumentary “Twist” from Canada’s Alliance Communications, according to Triton prexy Jonathan Dana.The company that reaped in excess of $ 2 million theatrically with docu “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” hopes for similar numbers with a platformed release of Ron Mann’s “Twist.” This critically acclaimed, engaging dance docu is about the gyratory craze that revolutionized pop culture during the darkest hour of the Cold War. The film features rare archival footage and current interviews with singers and songwriters who were part of the dance craze that preceded the British invasion. Some of the best footage comes from interviews with former “American Bandstand” dancers. “It’s a movie that we love,” said Dana. “The reaction in Toronto (at the Festival of Festivals) was fun and insightful. This film talks about an era prior to the Beatles. What defined the culture at that time was dance.” Triton begins its platform release Aug. 13 in L.A., followed Aug. 27 in San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. By early September, specialty pic will open in Chicago and Minneapolis. Alliance Releasing will simultaneously roll the pic out in Canada, Dana said. “In many cities we’ll be playing very close by where the festivals were,” said Bob Berney, senior VP marketing and distribution, especially on the West Coast, where pic drew raves. “In other cities we’ll create an event in these markets to get the word out,” Berney said. “We’re trying to tie it in with appearances by Hank Ballard,” the musician who penned the song that Chubby Checker made famous. The continuation of the platform will depend on whether “Twist” takes off as expected. By September, “We’ll have a feel for it and we’ll make plans contingent upon the success of the picture,” Dana said. Triton released about eight films in the past 12 months, most recently “American Heart.” Triton has had success with other docus including Errol Morris’ “A Brief History of Time,” and has a knack for releasing fest faves. “Like all specialty distributors, we pay attention to what’s going on at festivals because they’re real audiences,” Dana said. New Line Home Video acquired the U.S. video rights.
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