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Drafthouse nabs North American rights to rockumentary

'A Band Called Death' tracks the rebirth and rise to recent cult stardom of African-American punk group

Drafthouse Films has nabbed North American rights to Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino’s rockumentary “A Band Called Death” in advance of its screening at the South By Southwest film festival next month, the Austin-headquartered distributor announced Tuesday.

The deal was negotiated by Drafthouse’s James Emanuel Shapiro and by Cinetic Media’s Linzee Troubh on behalf of the film’s producers Matthew Perniciaro and Kevin Mann of Haven Entertainment, Scott Mosier of OGB Inc. and Jerry Ferrara.

Docu tracks the rebirth and rise to recent cult stardom of Death, an African-American proto-punk group formed in Detroit in 1971 by three teenage brothers, who struggled with career problems and an inner family tragedy for years before disbanding in the 1980s.

The Variety review following the film’s world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival last June said the filmmakers’ “savvy structural decisions yield powerful momentum and compelling interest from start to finish, fusing the strengths of a nonfiction narrative, featuring a memorably haunting subject, with a music movie’s entertainment value.”

Drafthouse plans a theatrical and VOD release of “Death” this summer.

“Howlett and Covino’s film rewrites punk history and also transforms a better-than-fiction music story into a moving, emotional story,” commented Drafthouse creative director Evan Husney. “We are thrilled to be introducing the legacy of Death to audiences around the country.”

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