×

Rushlake Takes World Rights for Two Acclaimed African Docs (EXCLUSIVE)

DURBAN–Cologne-based Rushlake Media has acquired world sales rights for “The Sound of Masks,” by Portuguese filmmaker Sara Gouveia, and “In Search,” by Kenyan director Beryl Magoko. The announcement was made Thursday at the Durban Intl. Film Festival, where both documentaries are screening.

Rushlake’s Philipp Hoffmann says the two films will bolster the company’s growing slate of premium African content. “Both ‘In Search’ and ‘The Sound of Masks’ perfectly fit our focus of high quality African films and African stories,” he says. “I’m really proud I can help to bring these outstanding films to the international markets and audiences.”

“In Search” (pictured) is Magoko’s highly personal exploration of female circumcision, a life-threatening ritual undergone by many girls across Africa. Evoking her own experiences as a child in Kenya, where circumcision was considered a rite of passage, she embarks on a journey that simultaneously leads her into the past and the future. The film has won a number of awards since taking home best student documentary after its 2018 premiere at the Intl. Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

“‘In Search’ is certainly one of the bravest films I’ve seen in many years,” says Hoffmann. “The success at festivals, where it’s won so many awards, already shows that audiences around the globe have the same view of the film.”

In “The Sound of Masks,” Gouveia travels to Mozambique to document the history of mapiko, a traditional masked dance that was used as a powerful tool to challenge colonization and celebrate the victories of the liberation movement. The film, which premiered at IDFA earlier this year, follows the storyteller and legendary dancer Atanasio Nyusi on a personal journey through the country’s past and present, in an intimately observed documentary that explores complex themes of identity in post-colonial Mozambique.

“‘The Sound of Masks’ is another incredibly well-made documentary, and Sara is certainly a director the international market should keep an eye on,” says Hoffmann. “I’m also glad to continue our work with [producers] Pandora de Cunha Telles and Pablo Iraola after ‘The Train of Salt and Sugar,’” Brazilian-born helmer Licinio Azevedo’s civil war drama, which was Mozambique’s first ever entry for the foreign-language Oscar race.

Rushlake specializes in licensing for VOD markets and has a strong focus on the African content. Its slate includes recent stand-outs like Berlinale player “Supa Modo,” by Kenya’s Likarion Wainaina, and “Sew the Winter to My Skin,” by South Africa’s Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, which world premiered in Toronto.

“We understand how difficult it can be for buyers and interested audiences to find the African films which are really relevant to them,” says Hoffmann. “In order to further this mission, we will also expand our operations on the continent soon.”

In Search
CREDIT: Rushlake

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Betty Gilpin'Stuber' film premiere, Arrivals, Regal

    'GLOW' Star Betty Gilpin in Talks to Join Chris Pratt in 'Ghost Draft' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fresh off her Emmy nomination for Netflix’s “GLOW,” Betty Gilpin has found her next project. The actress is in talks to join Chris Pratt in “Ghost Drama,” a sci-fi action film from Skydance and Paramount. Gilpin would join a cast that also includes “Handmaid’s Tale” star Yvonne Strahovski. Directed by “Lego Batman” filmmaker Chris McKay [...]

  • Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’

    Director Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’ and His Bulgarian Trilogy

    Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev earned critical acclaim for his 2017 feature “Directions,” which was selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. The first installment in a planned trilogy about the social inequality and moral ills plaguing both Bulgaria and Europe at large, the film followed six cab drivers over the course of 24 hours as [...]

  • Meryl Streep Best Movie Lines

    HBO Max Lands Steven Soderbergh's Next Film Starring Meryl Streep

    HBO Max has picked up Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the comedy “Let Them All Talk” starring Meryl Streep. Joining Streep in the ensemble cast are Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges and Gemma Chan. The screenplay was written by short story author and MacArthur Fellow recipient Deborah Eisenberg. It’s the story of a celebrated author [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with

    Bruce Springsteen Drops Introspective Trailer for 'Western Stars' Film

    While initial reports about Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming documentary around his recent “Western Stars” album said that it would essentially be a concert film, the first trailer for it, which dropped today, suggests it’s going to be a more introspective outing, more in line with his autobiographical performances at “Springsteen on Broadway” in 2017 and 2018, [...]

  • Phyllis Nagy

    Writers Guild Presidential Candidate Phyllis Nagy Blasts Strategy on Agencies

    Phyllis Nagy, who is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s president David Goodman, has warned of dire consequences from the current stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy, who announced her candidacy on July 22 as the head of Writers for Negotiation, is running on a platform that the WGA needs to get back to [...]

  • Chris Pine to Play Nixon Attorney

    Chris Pine to Play Nixon Lawyer John Dean in Amazon Studios Feature Pitch (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed a feature pitch with “Wonder Woman” star Chris Pine attached to play John Dean, a pivotal figure in the Watergate scandal. The film will follow the life and political saga of Dean, who served as White House counsel for President Richard Nixon from July 1970 through April 1973. Amazon bought the [...]

  • 'Bombay Rose,' Venice Premiere, Debuts Trailer

    'Bombay Rose,' Venice Film Festival Premiere, Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for animated film “Bombay Rose,” which will have its world premiere opening Venice Critics’ Week on Aug. 28. The film, written and directed by Gitanjali Rao, will also play in the Contemporary World Cinema strand at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 7. “Bombay Rose” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content