Zeitgeist’s ‘Journey’

Distrib hopes 'James' apes 'Africa' success

Marking the Gotham-based arthouse boutique’s first acquisition since scoring a major breakout success with “Nowhere in Africa,” Zeitgeist Films has picked up U.S. rights to Israeli director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s contempo fable “James’ Journey to Jerusalem.”

Produced by Amit Harel for Tel Aviv company Lama Prods., the pic premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was one of the critically celebrated discoveries of the Directors Fortnight.

Continental shift

The first feature from documaker Alexandrowicz chronicles the pilgrimage of a devout young Christian from an imaginary African village to the Promised Land.

“Though the film is set in Israel, we could imagine James’ journey taking place almost anywhere these days,” said a statement from Zeitgeist co-presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, who negotiated the acquisition with Harel. “This makes it a very universal story and one we felt was very important to tell.”

Alexandrowicz previously made docu feature “The Inner Tour,” which played a number of key festivals in 2002, including Sundance and New Directors/New Films in New York.

Wait till next year

Zeitgiest will release “James’ Journey” in the spring.

The company has “Nowhere in Africa,” the top-grossing title in its 15-year history, in release. Still performing steadily after almost four months in theaters, the foreign-language Oscar winner has grossed more than $5.2 million.

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