FilmRise Acquires N.A. Distribution Rights to ‘The Justice of Bunny King’

FilmRise, the New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, has acquired North American digital, broadcast and theatrical distribution rights to The Justice of Bunny King.

Starring Essie Davis (The Babadook, Assassin’s Creed) and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, Last Night in Soho, The Power of the Dog), the film is New Zealander Gaysorn Thavat’s feature directorial debut and follows the triumphant and heart-breaking story of a mother who tries to battle her way back from the bottom to regain custody of her children.

In the film, Bunny King (Davis), a headstrong mother of two with a sketchy past, makes a living by washing windows at traffic lights. Using her razor-sharp wit to charm money from gridlocked motorists, she saves every cent in order to try to regain custody of her two children, who have been placed in foster care. After promising her daughter a birthday party, Bunny must fight social services and break the rules to keep her word, but in doing so she risks losing her children altogether. Accompanied by her niece Tonyah (McKenzie), a fierce teenager running away from home and desperate for her aunt’s help, Bunny is in a race against the clock and headed towards an epic showdown with the authorities.

“This is another set of excellent performances that will be added to our ever-growing library of diverse and independent films that tell often overlooked stories,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “Through a rawness of someone who has hit rock bottom, both Essie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie convey through the very real struggles that many families face on a daily basis.”

The film, produced by Emma Slade of Firefly Films, had its worldwide premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival where it received the Special Jury Mention for the Nora Ephron Award. The film was an Official Selection at the 2021 Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, where Essie Davis was nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress award.

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The deal was negotiated by Katie Carroll Manager, independent film acquisitions for FilmRise, and Jonathan Walik, international sales executive for Protagonist Pictures.

“Essie Davis gives yet another tour de force performance in what has become a career full of them in this critically acclaimed debut,” Walik said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that The Justice of Bunny King has found a home with FilmRise in North America and have no doubt that their expertise in handling outstanding independent film will allow the film to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

Gravitas Ventures Picks Up N.A. Rights to Doc ‘The End of Medicine’

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to distribute the documentary The End of Medicine.

The company plans for an early summer release in theaters and in homes.

Executive produced by Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, The End of Medicine explores the link between treatment of animals and emerging health threats such as pandemics and antibiotic resistance. Documentary filmmaker Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy, What the Health) and BAFTA Award-winning director Alex Lockwood (73 Cows, Test Subjects) teamed up with Mara and Phoenix to create the documentary about zoonotic diseases (germs and viruses that spread between human and non-human animals), which threaten the health and lives of the entire human population.

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The End of Medicine began production in October 2019, months before COVID-19 was making headlines around the world. It includes interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists whose research and testimonies conclude that the public health emergency we are presently facing was inevitable and is far from over.

“We are pleased to serve as executive producers of The End of Medicine to raise awareness about the third leading global cause of death — antimicrobial resistance,” Mara and Phoenix said in a statement. “We became fans of director Alex Lockwood after seeing his BAFTA-winning documentary short 73 Cows, and were touched by his thoughtful and determined approach to storytelling. Together with producer Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy, What the Health), The End of Medicine explores how dangerously close the human population is to complete antimicrobial resistance, the government’s complicity and collaboration with the animal agriculture industry, and how unprepared we are for what’s to come if we continue to ignore the evidence around us. The animal agriculture industry props up its business of keeping thousands upon thousands of animals housed in soiled conditions by the overuse of antibiotics. We cannot exploit and manipulate other animals on a massive scale without corresponding and terrifying consequences.”

“We have been frustrated with the failure of mainstream media to properly address the threat of disease coming from animal agriculture, both before and during the current pandemic,” said Lockwood and Kuhn. “The End Of Medicine is an alarm bell and warning of what is to come if we don’t change.”

The End of Medicine is an incredibly timely documentary with an important message that directly addresses the relationship between the treatment of animals and pandemics. Gravitas is proud to be able to share it with audiences,” Brett Rogalsky, Gravitas Ventures manager of acquisitions, said in a statement.