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SXSW Documentary ‘Served Like a Girl’ Lands at Entertainment Studios

Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures has secured worldwide distribution rights for Lysa Heslov’s documentary “Served Like a Girl,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The movie, which marks Heslov’s feature directorial debut, premiered this year at South by Southwest. ESMP is targeting a mid-August theatrical debut, followed by a digital/DVD release through its digital distribution unit, Freestyle Digital Media, timed with Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Heslov’s film explores the complexity of female veterans’ lives and identities through the Ms. Veteran America competition. It attempts to put a spotlight on the military mantra of “adapt and overcome” through the moment when a female veteran must transition from military to civilian life.

The first single from the soundtrack — Pat Benatar’s “Dancing Through the Wreckage” — will be released through We Are Here Music on Sept. 1. Benatar co-wrote the track with Grammy-nominated songwriter Linda Perry and Neil Giraldo. The complete soundtrack will be available on Nov. 11.

ESMP’s first theatrical release, Mandy Moore’s action-drama “47 Meters Down,” has generated more than $38 million at the domestic box office in less than a month.

“We’re very excited to work with Lysa Heslov on her directorial debut,” said Byron Allen, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “This very important film sheds light on the post-deployment experience of female soldiers who are real American heroes, and unfortunately overlooked.”

The deal was negotiated by Freestyle Digital Media acquisitions director Rachel Koehler with Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content.

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