FilmRise Acquires U.S. Rights to Feature ‘Beans’

FilmRise, a New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the full-length feature film Beans.

The coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old Mohawk girl forced to grow up fast during the 1990 Indigenous uprising known as The Oka Crisis was awarded second runner up of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and is an Official Selection at Berlinale 2021. Beans is directed by Tracey Deer, an Indigenous woman whose own experiences from the crisis inspired her to write this impactful movie.

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Beans is a perfect addition to our library of films showcasing important stories from underrepresented populations,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “Deer has created a powerful, eye-opening perspective about an historic event that shook the Indigenous community of Quebec exactly 30 years ago.”

“We are thrilled with all the honors that the Berlinale, TIFF and others have given us, and now Tracey’s voice and vision will be carried in the U.S. with FilmRise,” added producer Anne-Marie Gélinas of EMAFilms in a statement. “Our film’s story is so relevant to the times that we are currently living.”

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The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Deer won the TIFF Emerging Talent Award and later was selected to TIFF Canada’s Top Ten. The film went on to the Vancouver Film Festival where it won Best Canadian Film and Most Popular Canadian Narrative. Beans has also played at the Sao Paulo Film Festival in Brazil and the Los Cabos Film Festival in Mexico.

Beans

In the film, Tekehentahkhwa (played by Kiawentiio) goes by her quirky nickname, Beans. She is a loving big sister to her constant sidekick, Ruby (Violah Beauvais), as they play in the woods and carefully avoid the rough and tough kids of their neighborhood on the Mohawk reservation of Kahnawà:ke, Quebec. When a peaceful protest at a neighboring reservation turns into an armed stand-off to protect a burial ground from being desecrated for a golf course expansion, Beans’ community quickly joins the battle in what becomes known as the Oka Crisis. Overnight, her community is cut off from the outside world. Beans seeks out the toughest girl she knows, April (Paulina Alexis), to help her transform into the brave Mohawk warrior that she needs to be to survive.  She gains acceptance with the cool clique, but that doesn’t prepare her for the racism and violence she confronts as the conflict escalates. Unable to cope, she descends into a dark, rage-filled existence focused on revenge. It’s not until her reckless actions put everyone she cares about into peril that she wakes up to what’s really important in her fragile world.

Film Movement Sets Home Release Dates for Italy’s ‘Twin Flower’

Indie film distributor Film Movement has announced a Dec. 24 release date for Twin Flower, an Italian coming-of-age drama by Laura Luchetti.

The film will be available on DVD and through digital retailers (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu) at a suggested retail price of $24.95 — and will include a bonus short film written and directed by Carlota Pereda.

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Set in Sardinia, the 2018 film stars Anastasyia Bogach as a young woman on the run from human traffickers who have murdered her father. She forms a bond with a refugee from the Ivory Coast, played by Kalill Kone, who is desperately trying to avoid being caught by Italian immigration agents. They embark on a dangerous trip across tough terrain in hopes of overcoming their demons.

Twin Flower premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received an honorable mention from the FIPRESCI Discovery Prize Jury. It went on to get nominated for the Grand Jury Prize and the Futurewave Youth Jury Award at the 2018 Seattle International Film Festival.

Breaking Glass Sets DVD Release Date for ‘Papi Chulo’

Breaking Glass Pictures has set a Nov. 5 release date for Papi Chulo, a comedy-drama written and directed by John Butler and starring Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño.

The American-Irish film, which originally premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, will be available to home audiences on DVD only. It also screened at the London Film Festival, the Torino Film Festival, The Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Dublin International Film Festival.

Papi Chulo features a newly single TV weatherman (Bomer) who is put on leave following an on-air meltdown. He directs his energy into home improvement and hires a middle-aged Latino day laborer named Ernesto (Patiño) for help. Despite a language barrier and having absolutely nothing in common, the two men develop an unexpected relationship.

The film grossed $85,000 domestically in a limited theatrical release, with just over $7,000 during opening weekend.