IFC Films has nabbed North American rights to “Farewell Amor,” the story of Angolan immigrants making a life for themselves in New York City, Variety has learned.
The film received critical acclaim when it premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It is written and directed by Sundance Institute fellow Ekwa Msangi and marks her feature directorial debut. IFC Films will release “Farewell Amor” in December of 2020.
The film centers on Walter, who reunites with his family 17 years after being forced to leave Angola for New York City. His wife, Esther, and daughter, Sylvia, quickly discover how the years of separation have turned them into absolute strangers while living together in Walter’s one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Dance becomes a way for them to reconnect.
In a positive review, Variety‘s Jessica Kiang hailed the performances, as well as the filmmaking prowess behind the movie. “‘Farewell Amor’ marks the arrival of an exciting new talent in Msangi, with the three lives it details doubtlessly representing only the tip of an iceberg of stories she has yet to tell,” she wrote. “The ‘Farewell’ of the title is misleading — not only because the film starts and ends with new beginnings, but because Msangi just got here, and if there’s any justice, she’ll not be going away anytime soon.”
“Farewell Amor” stars Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah, Jayme Lawson, Joie Lee, Marcus Scribner, and Nana Mensah. It won the 2020 Sundance Institute Producer’s Award on behalf of producer Huriyyah Muhammad (Outrageous Pictures).
Additional producing partners include Sam Bisbee (Park Pictures), Josh Penn (Department of Motion Pictures), Ekwa Msangi (Outrageous Pictures), Joe Plummer (Wavelength Productions) and Bobby Allen (MUBI), with co-producer Emily McCann Lesser.
“Ekwa Msangi is an exciting new voice in independent cinema and we are honored to partner with her to introduce ‘Farewell Amor’ to North American audiences,” said Arianna Bocco, executive VP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films. “We are thrilled to support Ekwa and welcome her into the IFC Films family.”
Msangi added, “We’re so delighted to have found a supportive and caring home for ‘Farewell Amor’ in IFC Films, and that Arianna and her team are as excited as we are to share this labor of love with the world. Not many are bold enough to distribute a story about an African family fighting for love, and the fact that IFC sees the human story in our film and are willing to champion it says a lot about them. If there were ever a time that our world needed a reminder of our humanity, it is now.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ Bocco with Endeavor Content, Film Constellation, and Cassian Elwes on behalf of the filmmakers. Anita Surendran, Granderson Des Rochers LLP was the legal advisor.