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ThinkFilm harvest

Distrib gets U.S. rights to Demme docu

ThinkFilm has picked up “The Agronomist,” the latest docu by director Jonathan Demme, for North American distribution. “Agronomist” will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will then be shown at Deauville before having its North American premiere at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

ThinkFilm will release the docu in 2004.

“Agronomist” tells the story of Haitian national hero Jean Dominique. As owner and operator of the island nation’s only free radio station, Dominique was frequently at odds with his country’s repressive governments and spent much of the ’90s in exile in New York, where Demme filmed him over the years.

Assassination in 2000

Following the reinstatement of Haiti’s democratically elected government, Demme filmed Dominique’s triumphant return to Port Au Prince. Dominique was assassinated in April 2000, giving Demme the inspiration to assemble more than a decade’s worth of original and archival material.

Produced by Jonathan Demme, Peter Saraf and Bevin McNamara, pic has an original musical score by Wyclef Jean and Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis.

Demme begins his next pic, a new version of Richard Condon’s “The Manchurian Candidate,” in late September with Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep toplining.

ThinkFilm’s Oscar-nominated documentary “Spellbound” has thus far grossed $5.25 million. In October, company will release the Brazilian documentary “Bus 174,” which, like “Spellbound,” is being presented in association with HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films. “Bus 174” will also be screened at the upcoming Toronto fest.