Kino Lorber Takes North America on ‘Disappearance of My Mother’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Kino Lorber, in association with blockchain-powered TVOD platform Breaker, has acquired North American rights to Beniamino Barrese’s documentary “The Disappearance of My Mother,” which had its world premiere at the Sundance Festival earlier this year, Variety has learned exclusively.

The deal was announced Monday at the Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Documentary Film Festival. It was negotiated by Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell and Autlook Film Sales North American sales and acquisitions representative Ania Trzebiatowska.

The Disappearance of My Mother” follows iconic ‘60s fashion model turned activist Benedetta Barzini, a muse to artists and image-makers like Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. For four decades Barzini has fought for the rights and emancipation of women, as a professor, journalist and radical feminist. Now facing an existential crisis at the age of 75, she decides that she wants to leave everything and everyone behind, even as her son – director Beniamino Barrese, who has captured her on film since he was a child – is determined to use his camera to preserve his own memories of her.

“The Disappearance of My Mother” turns into a battle of the wills between a headstrong mother and son over capturing her final images through film. Produced by Nanof and RYOT Films, it will have its theatrical premiere this fall and be available on VOD and home video this winter.

 “I filmed my mother with endless admiration, hoping that the rolling of my camera could help me preserve her. Forcing her in front of the lens forced me to ask myself why is it that we tell stories, why is it that we make images, and what is the power struggle that gets established between who films and who is filmed,” said Barrese. “I am grateful now that I know our film will be seen in Canada and the U.S., which once upon a time took my mum Benedetta and gave her a job because of her beauty. I hope she will challenge and inspire the audience just as much as she keeps inspiring and challenging me.”

“I was completely seduced in Sundance by Benedetta Barzini and the loving intimacy with which she is filmed by her son in this very personal documentary portrait,” said Kino Lorber’s Lidell. “This is a film about relationships: the relationship between women and the camera’s gaze, and between a son and his mother. These emotions are universal and I hope they will resonate as deeply with audiences as they resonate with me.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch for 2019

    Variety has announced its 10 Actors to Watch for 2019, an honor the publication has bestowed since 1998. Past honorees include many future Oscar winners and nominees, such as Mahershala Ali, Timothée Chalamet, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o and Melissa Leo. This year’s honorees will be feted in the Oct. 27 issue of [...]

  • August Maturo

    Film News Roundup: August Maturo to Star in Horror Movie 'Slapface'

    In today’s film news roundup, August Maturo gets a starring role and “Death of Me” and “Fatale” find homes. CASTING “Girl Meets World” star August Maturo has been cast as the lead character in the upcoming indie horror feature, “Slapface.” Related ‘We Will Stand Up,’ ‘Hope Frozen’ Take Top Prizes at Hot Docs Kino Lorber [...]

  • Dan Trachtenberg

    Tom Holland's 'Uncharted' Movie Loses Director

    Dan Trachtenberg has exited the director’s chair for Sony’s “Uncharted” movie starring Tom Holland, with the studio taking meetings with top filmmakers and production starting early next year. The studio confirmed Trachtenberg’s departure Thursday. It also said Sony-based PlayStation Productions — headed by Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan — had come on to produce alongside [...]

  • Participant Taps Anikah McLaren, Robert Kessel

    Participant Taps Anikah McLaren, Robert Kessel to Head Film Department

    Participant Media has named industry veterans Anikah McLaren and Robert Kessel as co-heads of the company’s film department with the titles of executive vice president. Both executives will report together to Participant CEO David Linde, who made the announcement Thursday. McLaren joins Participant having most recently served as a production executive for Fox Searchlight Pictures. [...]

  • 'The Son' Review: Bosnian Family Drama

    Sarajevo Film Review: 'The Son'

    It is a mixed blessing to be born in the aftermath of a war. On the one hand, you never have to experience the terror and suffering your parents did; on the other, you grow up with your own personal crises forever made to feel smaller by comparison. That, at least, is the frustration driving [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: Jennifer Lopez 'Hustlers' Heading for $25 Million Launch

    STX Entertainment’s “Hustlers,” a comedic thriller about strip-club employees seeking revenge, is expected to earn $25 million when it opens on Sept. 13, according to early tracking. The movie — starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo — will debut alongside Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch.” The drama, based on [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Lays Off 35 Corporate Staffers

    AMC Entertainment has laid off 35 corporate staffers and will not fill an additional 15 open jobs. The Kansas-based chain made the announcement Thursday as part of a previously announced “profit improvement plan” intended to achieve operating and administrative efficiencies. AMC, which operates more than 10,000 movie screens, had disclosed the plan on Aug. 8 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content