First Look pockets ‘Gift’

Oprah doc skedded for fall release

NEW YORK — First Look Media has picked up worldwide rights to docu “Emmanuel’s Gift,” planning a U.S. theatrical release for September.

Oprah Winfrey narrated the film, which tells the story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young Ghana man with only one leg who galvanizes his country by riding a bike across the West African nation.

“Emmanuel” was helmed and produced by twin sisters Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern of Lookalike Prods.

First Look Intl., a division of First Look Media, will handle licensing overseas.

Docu has picked up a number of awards from regional film fests, while Yeboah is slated to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award July 17 at the Espy Awards. By his side will be celebrity disabled athlete Jim MacLaren, who also is featured in “Emmanuel.”

Upon his mother’s death, Yeboah contacted the California-based Challenged Athletes Foundation and asked not for grant money but for a bicycle. He then rode 373 miles across Ghana to stamp out negative perceptions of the disabled. His journey nabbed the attention of Ghana’s media as well as the country’s political leadership.

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