×

Trafficking Tale ‘Buoyancy’ Heads for North American Release at Kino Lorber

Buoyancy,” the Australian-made story that has gathered momentum as a powerhouse depiction of human trafficking, is set to be released in North American theaters. Rights were acquired by specialty distributor Kino Lorber, which will give it a cinema opening in Spring 2020 ahead of video on demand and home video outings.

The rights sale was handled by Paris-based sales agent Charades.

The film portrays the desperate journey of two Cambodian teenagers who are unwittingly signed up to join Thailand’s commercial fishing fleet. There the labor is forced, and the trawlers only rarely return to port.

Buoyancy” had its premiere nearly a year ago as part of the Berlin film festival, and has since played at the Mumbai, Melbourne and Macao festivals. It has picked up multiple accolades including the best youth feature prize from the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

It was directed by documentary maker Rodd Rathjen as his first feature-length fiction film. Shot largely in Khmer and Thai, it was submitted by Australia as its contender for the Academy Awards international feature film race, but was not nominated.

Because of the sensitivity of the subject – in 2015 the European Union issued a formal warning to Thailand over the reported 200,000 people allegedly enslaved in its fishing and seafood businesses – “Buoyancy” is a fictional telling. But characters are closely based on actual people, and at least one of the actors is an escapee from the fishing boats. Variety reviewer Jessica Kiang called the film “a taut and urgent message movie.”

Popular on Variety

Kino Lorber is a mainstay of the foreign-language and art-house film markets in North America. It recently enjoyed documentary Oscar nominations for “Fire at Sea” and “Of Fathers and Sons.” In addition to its own titles, Kino Lorber handles ancillary media releases for Zeitgeist Films, Carlotta USA, Adopt Films and Raro Video. Last year it launched its streaming channel KinoNow.com which includes over 600 titles from its Kino Lorber library.

More Film

  • Jakob Mejlhede Andersen

    NENT Studios U.K. CEO Jakob Mejlhede Andersen Steps Down

    Jakob Mejlhede Andersen, the CEO of NENT Studios U.K., is stepping down from the business, which operates the Nordic region’s leading streamer Viaplay. Mejlhede was appointed CEO of NENT Studios U.K. in October 2019 and was previously executive VP and CCO for NENT Group’s Viaplay. He also held the role of executive VP and group [...]

  • A still from The Earth Is

    'The Earth is Blue as an Orange': Film Review

    “Everybody smile and say ‘cinema,'” young Myroslava Trofymchuk instructs several Ukrainian soldiers, as they obligingly pose and perform for her camera, their brawny tank reduced to a prop in the rubbly, wintry background. It’s the only time we see the masculine agents of conflict in “The Earth is Blue as an Orange,” a documentary with [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Cannes to Celebrate Wong Kar-wai's 'In The Mood For Love'

    The Cannes Film Festival is to screen a restored version of Wong Kar-wai’s “In The Mood For Love,”  20 years after it first premiered on the Croisette. The festival will play a restored, 4K version of the timeless Hong Kong-set romance that starred Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung as a journalist and a secretary [...]

  • Elvis Presley 1968 Comeback Special

    'Elvis: That's the Way It Is' Documentary Set for Re-Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    Trafalgar Releasing has set a re-release for the concert documentary “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is” for April 22 in 14 countries, Variety has learned exclusively. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the film’s original release by MGM. Most of the remastered footage was shot at the International Hotel in Las Vegas with [...]

  • Blackhall Studios to Build Major Production

    Blackhall Studios to Build Major Production Facility in U.K.

    Blackhall Studios, the Atlanta-based production hub that has hosted several high-profile shoots in recent years, has signed an agreement with the University of Reading to develop its first U.K. facility. Due for completion in early 2022, the new studio will offer physical production stages alongside digital media facilities tailored for special effects, augmented reality and [...]

  • Alberto Martin, Alegre Cordelia, Alvaro Gago,

    'Bees,' ‘Happiness,' 'Quinquis' Selected by Madrid’s ECAM Incubator (EXCLUSIVE)

    BARCELONA – “20,000 Species of Bees,” “Something Like Happiness” and “Los quinquis” are among five feature projects that will be put through development at the ECAM Madrid Film School’s pioneering Incubator program. The Incubator forms part of The Screen, a program at the ECAM Madrid Film School, which is aimed at fostering links between on-the-rise Spain-based [...]

  • Onward Animated Film 2020

    ‘Onward’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Disney Pixar claims the top spot in spending with “Onward.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $4.99 million through Sunday for 784 national ad airings on 35 networks. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content