‘Architect’ deal on firm foundation

Docu explores life of filmmaker's famous dad

Specialty distribution boutique New Yorker Films has acquired U.S. theatrical and video/DVD rights to “My Architect,” filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn’s personal docu feature about the enigmatic life and death, and the remarkable creative achievements, of his father Louis I. Kahn.

New Yorker president Dan Talbot has announced plans to open the film Nov. 12 at Gotham’s Film Forum, followed by a national release.

The feature world preemed in March in the New Directors/New Films season, jointly programmed by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. It subsequently won the audience award at the Philadelphia Film Festival, Kahn’s hometown.

“There was a lot of interest in the film after New Directors, but we were deeply impressed with New Yorker’s passion for it and their complete understanding of what we were after,” Nathaniel Kahn told Daily Variety.

“Fortunately, the situation is starting to change now, but it’s been very difficult for documentaries to get released theatrically, so we’re happy to sign on with a company like New Yorker that really believes in the film,” he added.

Starting from Kahn Sr.’s mysterious death in 1974, alone and bankrupt in a Penn Station restroom, “My Architect” chronicles the emotional journey of his illegitimate son Nathaniel to come to grips with his late father, both as an artistic force and as a secretive man who divided his attentions among three families.

Ranging from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, to the Bangladesh capital in Dacca, Louis I. Kahn’s spiritual, monolithic structures placed him among the most important post-WWII American architects.

Andrew Herwitz of the Film Sales Co. and attorney Rosalind Lichter brokered the sale on behalf of producers Nathaniel Kahn and Susan Behr of the Louis Kahn Project. Head of acquisitions and distribution Jose Lopez negotiated for New Yorker.

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