Cowboy rides to ‘Beirut,’ finds ‘North’

Distrib to release AFM pick-up, road pic

Cowboy Booking Intl. will release the debut features of two helmers — Ziad Doueiri’s “West Beirut” and Tanya Wexler’s “Finding North.”

Cowboy partners Noah Cowan and John Vanco closed the deal for “Beirut” with Eric Lagesse of Flach Pyramide Intl. earlier this month at the American Film Market.

“We are proud to distribute this beautifully directed and enchanting story of youth, romance and adventure in a troubled time,” Cowan said.

Set in 1975, “West Beirut” follows three precocious teenagers as they roam the streets searching for adventure. Pic won the Fipresci critics award at the 1998 Toronto Intl. Film Festival and was the official Lebanese submission for the best foreign film Academy Award.

“Finding North” is a road movie starring Wendy Makkena (“Sister Act”) and John Benjamin Hickey (“Love! Valour! Compassion!”).

Produced by Steven A. Jones and Stephen Dyer, “Finding North” screened at the Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival, South by Southwest and the New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Ira Deutchman and Peter Newman of Gotham-based film company Redeemable Features are repping the film and brought it to Cowboy. “North” director Wexler is also set to direct the Elijah Wood starrer “Ball in the House” for Redeemable.

“We’re very pleased to get ‘Finding North’ the exposure it deserves,” Cowboy vice president Vanco said. “It’s a real pleasure to work on a film that connects so positively with its audience.”

Cowboy recently released Tim Kirkman’s documentary “Dear Jesse” and Jafar Panahi’s “The Mirror.” Its collaborations with Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder Pictures include “The Beyond,” “Hard Core Logo” and “Mighty Peking Man.”

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