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Anton Yelchin’s ‘Porto’ Bought for Fall Release Ahead of SXSW (EXCLUSIVE)

Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to Gabe Klinger’s romance drama “Porto,” starring the late Anton Yelchin and Lucie Lucas.

Porto,” written by Klinger and Larry Gross, will hold its North American premiere on Sunday at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The film, shot on Super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm in the Portuguese city, had its world premiere last fall in the New Directors competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Kino Lorber is planning a fall theatrical release, with a commitment to screen the film both on 35mm and DCP, before a VOD release during the winter.

Guy Lodge of Variety gave “Porto” a strong review at San Sebastian, calling it “a sad, shimmering American-abroad love story starring the tragically late Anton Yelchin: In artfully deconstructing a one-night stand with one wistful eye on what was and another on what could have been, Gabe Klinger’s first narrative feature winds up feeling appropriately elegiac in a multitude of ways.”

“Porto” has been acquired for distribution in more than 30 countries and has screened at more than 20 film events worldwide, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, BFI London Film Festival, CPH:PIX, and the Torino Film Festival. The film recently won the award for Best Screenplay in addition to the Belgian TV Prize at the Festival International du Film d’Amour de Mons.

Yelchin and Lucas portray two outsiders in Porto who once experienced a brief but intimate connection. He plays an American loner exiled from his family; she’s a French student abroad with her professor lover. One day they see each other from a distance at an archeological site and then again at a train station and a café, followed by a night of carefree intimacy. This experience is looked at years later using fragments from their lives apart, both of them still haunted by the powerful moments they shared.

Yelchin passed away in June in an accident.

Klinger’s 2013 documentary “Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater” won a Lion for Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival.

The deal for “Porto” was negotiated between Kino Lorber’s Wendy Lidell and Elsa Ramo of Ramo Law on behalf of Double Play Films, Bando à Parte, and Gladys Glover.

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