The film, a largely animated documentary about the life of a gay Afghan refugee, earned the grand jury prize in the World Cinema Documentary Competition category on Tuesday night, just hours after the new partnership was announced.
“We were awestruck by Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s beautiful and intimate Flee and are so proud to join with NEON in co-distributing this film,” Diane Weyermann, Participant’s Chief Content Officer, said in a statement announcing the partnership.
“We are extremely happy to continue our collaboration with Participant which began with the ‘Look of Silence,’” producers Signe Byrge Sørensen and Monica Hellström, of Final Cut For Real, said of the deal.
The experimental and critically acclaimed film was written by Rasmussen and Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym for the story’s central character) and edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen. Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau executive produced the project.
The film was produced by Final Cut for Real, in co-production with animation studio Sun Creature, Denmark; Vivement Lundi!, France; MostFilm, Sweden; Mer Film, Norway; ARTE, France and Vpro, Nederland. Associate producers include VICE Studios, RYOT Films and Ahmed’s Left Handed Films.
Variety reported that the indie company (and Oscar winners for “Parasite”) had acquired the documentary, also an official selection of Cannes 2020, late last week for roughly $1 million, according to individuals familiar with the deal.
Participant and NEON previously partnered on 2019’s “Monos” and last year’s “Totally Under Control.”
30WEST and Cinephil brokered the acquisition deal on behalf of the filmmakers.