Dogwoof has acquired world sales rights to 3-D documentary “Cunningham.” The U.K.-based documentary specialist will present a first-look teaser from the film about renowned American choreographer Merce Cunningham to international buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.
“Cunningham,” which is currently in production, is set to see its U.K. release through Dogwoof, as well as releases in pre-sold markets France and Germany via Sophie dulac and Camino Films respectively, in spring 2019 to coincide with the centenary of the choreographer’s birth.
Filming in 3D, the documentary, which is described as a “breathtaking explosion of dance and music,” is directed by Alla Kovgan and edited by Andrew Bird. It traces Cunningham’s artistic evolution over three decades of risk and discovery from his early years as a struggling dancer in post-war New York to his emergence as one of the world’s most visionary and influential choreographers, weaving together his philosophies and stories to create a visceral journey into his world. The production uses the last generation of dancers to have worked with Cunningham, who died in 2009.
“As we approach the centenary celebrating his life and work, Alla’s immersive film with its exclusive access to the Merce Cunningham estate will be the perfect complement to the celebrations taking place around the world next year,” said Oli Harbottle, Dogwoof’s head of distribution and acquisitions. “With the film available in 3-D to help bring his work to life on the big screen, we expect strong interest from theatrical buyers as we launch the film at AFM.”
Producer Ilann Girard of Arsam International said the production had assembled “an elite team of 3-D specialists” to bring the project to life, some of whom previously worked on Wim Wenders’ Oscar-nominated documentary “Pina,” about German choreographer Pina Bausch. He said new CGI techniques would allow greater exploration of Cunningham’s world. “We want each one in the audience to feel the dance and share an experience of self-discovery,” said Girard.
“Cunningham” is produced by Helge Albers, Girard, Alla Kovgan, Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Kelly Gilpatrick and Derrick Tseng. The film is a co-production of Achtung Panda! Media, Arsam International and Chance Operations in association with DocWorks and Bord Cadre Films, with the participation of La Maison and CowProd. Major funding was provided by Arte/BR.
This year’s American Film Market runs Oct. 31 to Nov. 7.