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Cinema Libre in zen zone on ‘Pass’

Acquires Fitzgerald's yogi doc for April release

Cinema Libre Studio has acquired rights to Jon Fitzgerald’s documentary “The Highest Pass,” the story of seven seekers who follow a yogi on a motorcycle journey of self-discovery up through the highest pass of the Indian Himalayas.

Cinema Libre acquired “Pass” at the Topanga Film Festival and plans a theatrical release in April in Los Angeles and New York.

All rights except for foreign TV were acquired by Cinema Libre.

Film centers on a modern yogi and guru, Anand Mehrotra, who bears the burden of a Vedic prophecy that predicts he will die in his late 20s in an accident. Adam Schomer, who organized the ride, produced and wrote.

It’s the second documentary for Fitzgerald following “The Back Nine.” He’s a former festival director of the American Film Institute, Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Film Festival and one of the founders of the Slamdance Film Festival and recently launched Cinecause.com to connect socially relevant films to related causes.

“My first film was turned down by Sundance, which is one of the reasons why Slamdance was founded,” Fitzgerald said. “Recognizing that there is often a great value for niche films to play smaller festivals, we developed our fest strategy around specific regional events hoping to connect with the audiences. Finding a distributor at Topanga was icing on the cake.”

“Pass” won the Spotlight Award at Topanga and received the audience award at the San Diego Film Festival and the jury prize for Documentary at the Naples Intl. Film Festival.

Schomer’s documentary “When the Dust Settles,” a look into the effects of nuclear testing on the children of Kazakhstan, is in post-production.

Cinema Libre has released more than 100 titles, including “Fuel,” “The End of Poverty?,” “London River” and “South of the Border” and is developing “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” into a feature.

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