Magnolia Pictures International has acquired international sales rights outside of the US for Yaara Bou Melhem’s Unseen Skies.
The In Films and Participant Media documentary follows artist Trevor Paglen during the final stretch of his decade-long journey to put a work of art into space.
Melhem, a two-time UN Peace Award-winning filmmaker, and investigative journalist, highlights the global impact of technology in the 21st century and its adverse impact on privacy through Paglen’s story as a geographer and a former punk rock musician working to launch the Orbital Reflector.
The Australia/US production, backed by Screen Australia and Screen NSW, premiered at this San Francisco International Film Festival in April. Last week it was announced as one of the films set to compete for the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) Award for Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival in November.
Producer Ivan O’Mahoney, of In Films, told IF Participant had planned a “strong bespoke” release strategy for the project. ‘
“It’s very in line with the nature of the film,” he said.
“While it’s entertaining, and beautifully made, it is also a film that is really best enjoyed in the cinema by those who have an interest in the type of issues it raises.”
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden with Participant VP of content sales Rob Williams.
Magnolia head of international sales Lorna Lee Torres and international sales director Marie Zeniter will be launching sales of Unseen Skies at festivals and markets.