Grasshopper Film has picked up North American non-theatrical and digital distribution rights to Mo Scarpelli’s “El Father Plays Himself,” as the documentary of the Italian-American director and cinematographer screens at the 33rd IDFA Best of Festivals Selection – after having won a special mention for best international feature at Switzerland’s Visions du Réel.
The New York based distributor is looking to release the title on digital markets in early 2021.
A doc feature that played at the Krakow Film Festival and won another special mention at Perso Perugia Social Film Festival, follows the re-encounter of a father and son as the latter attempts to shoot a film about the life of the father in the midst of the Venezuelan Amazon.
A kind of “making of” documentary that explores with father-son dynamics with a keen eye the dynamics as they unfold under the pressure of shooting a movie, “El Father Plays Himself” adds a layer of self awareness that raises the question of what documentary representation entails.
Based in New York and founded in 2015, speciality distributor Grasshopper Film is dedicated to the release of acclaimed and award winning independent films, with a library of over 300 features, an outlet appropriate for Scarpelli, whose already substantial work that drawn attention at the Berlinale, SXSW Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival, among other events.
“In the toughest year ever for releasing an independent film, we’re thrilled to be working with Grasshopper for digital and non-theatrical distribution in North America,” Scarpelli told Variety, adding that the company “has a track record of breaking through the noise of the Internet to bring artful films to the fore. I can’t think of a better partner for releasing this layered and intimate film to audiences online.”