‘Abouna’ sits with Leisure Time

Shingle also has U.S. rights to 'Dog'

NEW YORK — Arthouse boutique Leisure Time Features has picked up African drama “Abouna” (Our Father), Chad’s first entry for the foreign-lingo Oscar.

Theatrical acquisition is the third this week out of the New Directors/New Films event currently unspooling in New York.

The second feature from Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (“Bye Bye Africa”), “Abouna” is a co-production between the director’s native Chad and France, where he has long been based. Story centers on two young brothers in a town near the border of Chad and Cameroon, whose lives are changed forever after they are abandoned by their father.

Leisure Time president Bruce Pavlow negotiated the deal with Paris-based sales agent MK2 and is scheduling an initial Gotham run in the fall, with other cities to follow.

Pavlow also closed a deal at the Berlin fest for U.S. rights to “Dog Days,” the first feature from iconoclastic Austrian documaker Ulrich Seidl, which offers a dark vision of human detritus and suburban hell during a Vienna heat wave.

Pic was a ND/NF entry last year and won the Venice fest’s Grand Jury Prize in 2001. Leisure Time is planning an August release in New York. Company currently has Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf’s “Blackboards” in theaters.

‘Hukkle,’ ‘Bus’ bought

Other ND/NF titles acquired for distribution this week are Jose Padilha’s Brazilian docu “Bus 174,” picked up by ThinkFilm; and Hungarian newcomer Gyorgy Palfi’s “Hukkle,” taken by Maine-based micro-outfit Shadow Distribution.

Distribs also are believed to be circling other unspooling titles including Argentine helmer Adrian Caetano’s “A Red Bear”; Japanese comedy “Wild Berries,” by Miwa Nishikawa; and U.S. docu “My Architect,” by Nathaniel Kahn. ND/NF wraps Sunday.

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