July 24, 2013 10:26 am
We are delighted to announce that Kino Lorber has acquired US distribution rights to The Trials of Muhammad Ali. The film will open its theatrical run on Friday, August 23rd with a week-long engagement at IFC Center in New York, before rolling out nationwide across the fall of 2013.
Read about the news in Variety.
Full press release:
Kino Lorber Acquires The Trials of Muhammad Ali.
Documentary by Bill Siegel from Kartemquin Films on Ali's life and political legacy to open at IFC Center in New York City on August 23rd with national release following.
New York, NY - July 24, 2013 - Kino Lorber is pleased to announce the acquisition of North American rights to The Trials of Muhammad Ali, a Kartemquin Films production directed by Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground). This acclaimed documentary that had its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival interweaves the political threads of Ali's controversial stance on Vietnam, legal challenges as a conscientious objector, his relationship to the Nation of Islam and ongoing fight for racial justice, all but sacrificing a celebrated boxing career to sustain his principles. The film opens in New York at the IFC Center on August 23rd with a national rollout planned through the summer and fall.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a conventional sports documentary. As befitting its extraordinary and often complex subject, the film examines Ali's life outside the boxing ring, beginning with the announcement of his deeply held Islamic religious beliefs which were a source of controversy, and his decision to change his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. It explores his refusal to serve in the Vietnam war (after his conscientious objector status was denied) on the grounds of protesting the racial injustice at home, and captures his passion and anger in interviews and TV appearances culled from a rich variety of archival sources.
Passionate and outspoken in his beliefs, Muhammad Ali found himself at the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war. The Trials of Muhammad Ali gives audiences the chance to experience this remarkable figure who took a strong stance on difficult issues, and transcended his fame as a celebrated sports figure to become a leader of global humanitarian efforts. His remarkable story is told through archival footage of his supporters and spiritual leaders including Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, as well as opponents of his views such as Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. The documentary also features new interviews with those who know and have worked with Ali, including his brother Rahman, his wife Khalilah Camacho-Ali, sports journalist Robert Lipsyte and Louis Farrakhan.
The deal was negotiated by Richard Lorber and Elizabeth Sheldon on behalf of Kino Lorber, and Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers. Richard Lorber commented, "This is an astonishing work that pulls no punches when it comes to what Ali was really fighting for. Bill Siegel and the Kartemquin team have recast the legend of Ali with brilliant insight into the political reality that only makes his iconic stature more compelling and enduring."
Director Bill Siegel said, "We had a number of distribution options but have great respect for Kino Lorber's history and standing within indie film. They are a great choice for this film, and all of us at Kartemquin are looking forward to working with them to get the film out there."
The film had its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and honored as Official Selections at AFI Docs, Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Festival Do Rio, and Montclair Film Festival, all in 2013.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali is directed by Bill Siegel, produced by Rachel Pikelny, executive produced by Leon Gast, Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan, and Kat White, and edited by Aaron Wickenden.
333 West 39 St., Suite 503
New York, NY 10018
Kartemquin Films is a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on over 45 years of being Chicago's documentary powerhouse.
Kartemquin sparks democracy through documentary. Their films, such as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams, and The New Americans, are among the most acclaimed documentaries of all time, leaving a lasting impact on millions of viewers.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
www.kartemquin.com / @Kartemquin / www.facebook.com/kartemquin
About Kino Lorber
With a library of 700 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 20 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including four Academy Award® nominated films in the last six years. In addition, the company brings over 60 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases as well as digital distribution on all platforms.
www.kinolorber.com / @kinolorber / www.facebook.com/kinolorberinc