Russia's Arena Acquires Sundance Audience Winner

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Rep. — Nadav Schirman’s “The Green Prince,” which opened the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance and won the audience award there, has been sold to Russian distributor Arena Film.

The film won the audience award at the Moscow Film Festival recently. Georgy Molodtsov, head of the Moscow’s docu section, commented: ” ‘The Green Prince’ is one of those films that helps documentary film directors attract non-documentary audiences.”

Schirman said: “It’s amazing to see how different people from different cultures, identify different things in the film. For the Russian audiences, the conflict is very remote, but they could identify with our characters who were brave enough to go against their systems, and follow their own moral compass.”

Global Screen has previously sold the film to the U.K. (Curzon), Australia/New Zealand (Madman Entertainment), Canada (Mongrel Media), Poland (Against Gravity), Taiwan (Swallow Wings) and, in collaboration with Submarine, to the U.S., where the film will be released Sept. 12 by Musicbox. In Israel (Shani Films), “The Green Prince” is still playing in cinemas after eight weeks, and is the most watched documentary of the year. Rapid Eye Movies is planning to release in Germany on Nov. 12.

Alice Buquoy, sales manager with Global Screen, said: “Russia might be one of the toughest territories when it comes to selling documentaries. ‘The Green Prince’ is one of the strongest titles in our line up, and while tackling the conflict in the Middle East, it is also universal, and has a strong message of hope.”

The film is a real-life thriller, telling the story of one of Israel’s most prized intelligence sources, the son of a top Hamas leader. Under the code name “The Green Prince,” he was recruited to spy on his own people for over a decade. Focusing on his complex relationship with his handler, this is a gripping account of terror, betrayal, impossible choices — and of a friendship that defies all boundaries.

The film is produced by Schirman, Oscar-winning producers Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire,” “Searching for Sugar Man”) and John Battsek (“One Day in September”). The German-Israeli-U.K. co-production was produced by A-List Films, London-based Passion Pictures and Red Box Films in co-production with Telepool and Uzrad Productions. World sales are being handled by Munich-based Global Screen.

The deal was negotiated by Buquoy on behalf of Global Screen, and Georgy Nersesov on behalf of Arena Film.

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