Grasshopper Film has bought North American distribution rights to “Distant Constellation,” Shevaun Mizrahi’s documentary on the residents of a Turkish retirement home, Variety has learned.
The distributor plans an Oscar-qualifying run, starting with Metrograph in New York City on Nov. 2 before expanding to other markets, followed by a release on VOD and home video in early 2019.
“Distant Constellation,” produced by Shelly Grizim and Deniz Buga, received an Independent Spirit Award nomination in the Truer Than Fiction category this year. It premiered in 2017 at the Locarno Film Festival, where it received a special jury award, and has since won prizes at the Vienna International Film Festival, the Seville Film Festival and the Jeonju International Film Festival.
Mizrahi shot “Distant Constellation” at a government run facility for the elderly in Instanbul, where she had volunteered and formed relationships with the residents. The film portrays residents recounting stories of their youth, including a personal account of the Armenian genocide, while construction transforms the surrounding area.
“A genuine discovery, Shevaun Mizrahi’s ‘Distant Constellation,’ a documentary that manages to recall the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky and Pedro Costa, is a work of remarkable beauty and mystery,” said Ryan Krivoshey, president of Grasshopper. “We are delighted to be working with Shevaun and the entire team on the release of this extraordinary film.”
The deal was negotiated by Krivoshey with Riel Roch-Decter of Memory on behalf of the filmmakers. Grasshopper released Feras Fayyad’s Academy Award-nominated documentary “Last Men In Aleppo.”