Monday, May 23, 2016

Kino Lorber launches distribution label for South Asia

Kino Lorber a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years is now launching a theatrical distribution label, Silk Road Cinema, dedicated to award-winning arthouse films from India, Pakistan and the rest of South Asia. Designed to drive Asian cinema in the US, the label will release films throughout North America in theatres and all home media.

Kino Lorber releases about 25 films per year under its various banners, their films have received five Oscar nominations in the past seven years, and also brings out over 100 titles annually to the home entertainment sector on all major platforms. 
The US distributor is partnering with New York and Mumbai-based independent director-producer Shrihari Sathe to curate the collection and collaborate on distribution strategy. Silk Road Cinema will release approximately six titles a year, in all media, starting with five titles acquired from 3 Monkeys, the international film group operated by Shrihari Sathe and Alan McAlex. 

These include Afia Nathaniel’s ‘Dukhtar’ and Geetu Mohandas’ ‘Liar’s Dice’, which were Pakistan and India’s submissions respectively to the 87th Academy Awards; ‘1000 Rupee Note’, directed and produced by Sathe; Avinash Arun’s ‘Killa', which won a Crystal Bear at Berlin in 2014; and award-winning drama ‘Harud', directed by Aamir Bashir.

Richard Lorber and Shrihari Sathe first met when Mr. Lorber was a juror at the South Asian International Film Festival, where two of the films controlled by Sathe were awarded major prizes. Sathe, also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and a member of the Producers Guild of America, Indian Motion Picture Producers Association and Film Writers Association (India), will be actively seeking new South Asian titles at Cannes Film Festival along with the Kino Lorber team. 

Kino Lorber will handle the theatrical releases for the Silk Road Cinema acquisitions, under the direction of Wendy Lidell, the company’s head of theatrical distribution who will also be in Cannes. Eventually all the titles will be available through Kino Lorber’s wide network of distribution platforms in the VOD, educational, home video and ancillary markets, both in North America and for certain titles worldwide.

“As a festival juror for South Asian films, my eyes were opened to the sophistication and originality of many talented emerging filmmakers who have been overshadowed by cliché driven dominance of Bollywood,” commented Richard Lorber.
“These locally rooted art house films have global emotions and via Kino Lorber’s established distribution network we plan to bring these films to audiences hungry for content from both emerging and established filmmakers” added Sathe.

- Rutwij Nakhwa

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