Zeitgeist does trick for ‘Magicians’

Buddhist monk-turned-helmer gets Stateside release

Gotham-based specialty distrib Zeitgeist Films has acquired U.S. rights to Bhutanese writer-director Khyentse Norbu’s “Travellers and Magicians,” the first fiction feature shot in the Himalayan kingdom.

Drama chronicles the journey of a bored, ambitious young man who dreams of leaving his home in Bhutan for America. At the same time, it recounts the parallel story of a drifter having an affair with a married woman in an isolated mountain spot while plotting to kill her husband.

Premiered last fall at the Venice Film Festival, pic is the second feature from the Buddhist monk-turned-filmmaker after his widely traveled “The Cup.” Malcolm Watson and Raymond Steiner produced, with Jeremy Thomas as exec producer.

Zeitgeist co-president Nancy Gerstman finalized the deal in Cannes with Thorsten Schumacher of London’s HanWay Films. Distrib is planning a January release.

Upcoming releases from Zeitgeist include Canadian docu feature “The Corporation,” opening June 4. Company also has last year’s Cannes Critics Week hit “Since Otar Left” currently in theaters.