Miramax buys ‘Naqoyqatsi’

Soderbergh exec produced, Glass composed music for Reggio pic

Miramax Films has acquired worldwide rights to non-narrative art film “Naqoyqatsi,” produced by Lawrence Taub and Joe Beirne and directed by Godfrey Reggio.

Steven Soderbergh is the executive producer of the project and presents the pic with Miramax. Philip Glass composed the music, which features cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Pic chronicles the transition of the natural world to a “new” nature, a world consumed by technology and violence. It is the third film of the Qatsi trilogy, following “Powaqqatsi” and “Koyaanisqatsi.”

“Naqoyqatsi” was financed by Miramax, Soderbergh and the Institute for Regional Education and its affiliated Fund for Change, which also were responsible for developing the project.

“Godfrey Reggio has created yet another landmark film,” Soderbergh said. ” ‘Naqoyqatsi’ is an explosion of ideas and imagery; a riveting, rigorous, provocative and breathtaking exploration of how we’ve allowed technology to infiltrate our everyday lives. Once again, Harvey Weinstein proves that in addition to being a champion of independent cinema, Miramax Films is both fearless and prescient.”

“This project would have never happened without Reggio’s creativity and vision and Steven’s support,” said Bob Osher, Miramax co-president of production. “This is the type of independent film that Miramax has always supported. We are happy to be part of such an artistic project.”

‘No small miracle’

Added Reggio: “To embrace a non-narrative film, a poetic cinema of image and music, is, by our reckoning, no small miracle.”

Osher and Eric Roth, senior veep of business and legal affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of Miramax. Pat Dollard and Mike Adler negotiated on behalf of Soderbergh. Taub negotiated on behalf of the Institute for Regional Education/Fund for Change.

Reggio spent 14 years in silence, prayer and teaching while a monk in the Catholic church. He has worked with street gangs and for social, economic and environmental justice.

Founded in 1973, the Institute for Regional Education has been dedicated to promoting and providing information and resources to the general public. Beginning with a major public-interest advertising campaign in 1974 (in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Foundation), a primary focus of IRE has been public media and outreach, including everything from community-based video, to public art and sculpture displays, to the creation and production of feature films.