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WIP nabs rights to ‘Paradise’

Pic won a trio of awards at the Berlin Film Festival

Warner Independent Pictures has snapped up North American and U.K. rights to helmer Hany Abu-Assad’s “Paradise Now.”

Pic won a trio of awards over the weekend at the Berlin Film Festival, including the Blue Angel Award for European film, the newly established Amnesty Intl. Film Prize and the Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Prize.

“Paradise” follows two Palestinian friends who become suicide bombers out of desperation.

Abu-Assad and Bero Beyer penned the pic, which was produced by Bero Beyer of Augustus Film.

“The combination of the (three awards) prove what we have always believed about the movie — that the film is humanistic and balanced, politically scrupulous and accessible,” said Hengameh Panahi, prexy of the Celluloid Dreams sales banner. “The release of this movie in America will be an historic event.”

Following the film’s Berlin preem, Israel Film Fund topper Katriel Schory stated he would be willing to provide P&A support for “Paradise” if the movie “finds a distributor in Israel.”

WIP plans to roll out the film in October.

Deal was negotiated by WIP’s Paul Federbush and Celluloid’s Panahi and Charlotte Mickie.

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