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Kino Lorber has acquired Agnieszka Holland’s critically acclaimed refugee drama Green Border for North America, the company confirmed Tuesday. Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release for the Polish feature next year, followed by an all-platform roll-out.
The black-and-white drama follows the plight of refugees stranded in the swampy forest land that makes up the Polish-Belarusian border. The refugees, mostly from North Africa and the Middle East, were lured to the border by propaganda promising easy passage into the European Union but became pawns in a geopolitical game, and were stranded between the two countries, unable to enter the EU and unable to return to Belarus.
Green Border premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year, where it won the jury prize. But the film fell foul of Poland’s far-right, with several figures attacking it for its portrayal of Polish border guards and government officials. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro compared the film to “Nazi propaganda” and called for Poles to boycott it.
They haven’t. Despite the official condemnation, Green Border has been a commercial success in Poland.
However, Green Border wasn’t selected to represent Poland in the Oscar race. That honor fell instead to DK and Hugh Welchman’s sumptuous animated literary adaptation The Peasants. Green Border is, however, up for two European Film Awards this year, nominated in both the best film and best director categories.
In a separate deal, Modern Films picked up U.K. rights to Green Border.
Metro Films produced Green Border in association with Astute Films and in co-production with Blick Prod., Marlene Film Prod., Beluga Tree, Canal+ Poland, dFlights, Czech Television and the Mazovia Warsaw Film Fund.
Holland produced together with Marcin Wierzchosłąwski and Fred Bernstein. Mike Downey, Jeff Field, Emir Külal Haznevi and Daniel Bergman are executive producers.