‘Dalai Lama’ gets bigscreen release

Film also carried by Joiningthedots.tv

LONDON — Joshua Dugdale’s access-all-areas observational portrait doc, “The Unwinking Gaze: The Inside Story of the Dalai Lama’s Struggle for Tibet,” will get a U.K. theatrical release on the upmarket indie Picturehouse Cinemas circuit.

Release of timely “Gaze” at the end of May is the result of a new pact between London-based doc distrib Mercury Media’s online doc initiative Joiningthedots.tv, the Picturehouse chain and national newspaper the Independent.

Under the deal, Picturehouse will debut a new Joiningthedots doc every six weeks.

Joiningthedots launches April 15 with 60 docs available online for download and streaming and plans to have more than 200 on the site in the next six months.

Traffic will also be generated through promos in the print and online editions of the Independent.

“Releasing the best films from the Joiningthedots.tv stable onto the big screen was always an ambition we had hoped to realize,” said Mercury Media’s topper Tim Sparke.

“To have achieved this in advance of our broadband launch is a vote of confidence in the Joiningthedots.tv concept. The films chosen as part of this initiative will premiere first theatrically before going into the online, TV and DVD markets.”

“The power of Picturehouse’s theatrical marketing expertise alongside that which the Independent brings will provide an unprecedented opportunity for talented filmmakers to reach out to a whole new audience,” said Mark Allenby, head of marketing, Picturehouse.

“Gaze,” an 18-month labor of love for 33-year-old Brit documaker Dugdale, shows Tibet’s spiritual and political leader both relaxing with close confidantes and meeting world leaders.

“The issue of Tibet is of profound importance especially in the run up to the Olympics. The power of this film to change hearts, minds and attitudes in the West and in China will be augmented by its release nationwide next month,” Dugdale said.

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