Zeitgeist Films & Kino Lorber Acquire Rights To Eva Vitijas Doc Loving Highsmith About Carol And The Talented Mr. Ripley Author

EXCLUSIVE: Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber have acquired North American rights to Eva Vitija’s documentary Loving Highsmith, which takes as its focus Carol and The Talented Mr. Ripley author Patricia Highsmith. Zeitgeist will release the film theatrically this September.

Loving Highsmith is a unique look at the life of the celebrated American author, focusing on Highsmith’s quest for love and her troubled identity through her personal diaries and the intimate reflections of her lovers, friends and family. The film sheds new light on her life and writings, the best known of which were adapted for the big screen: Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Carol, a partially autobiographical novel and the first lesbian story with a happy ending in 1950s America. Highsmith herself was forced to lead a double life and had to hide her vibrant love affairs from her family and the public, reflecting on the ever-present subject only in her unpublished writings.

Loving Highsmith interweaves archival material of Highsmith and her most famous adaptations with excerpts from her unpublished writing voiced by actress Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones). The film written and directed by Vitija made its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival and bows at the Frameline Film Festival later this month. It was produced by Franziska Sonder and Maurizius Staerkle Drux, and co-produced by Carl-Ludwig Rettinger, in co-production with Lichtblick Film, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, RSI Radio Televisione Svizzera, and ZDF/Arte.

The deal for Loving Highsmith was negotiated by Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, Jason Ishikawa for Cinetic, and Salma Abdalla for Autlook.

“We’ve been wondering when someone was going to make a truly great documentary about Patricia Highsmith, one of the most original, complex, disturbing, fascinating writers (and people) of the 20th century,” said Gerstman and Russo in a joint statement. “This is it and we can’t wait to bring it out in North America in September.”

“I am very excited that Loving Highsmith has been selected by Zeitgeist and Kino Lorber for North American release,” said Vitija. “They have distributed some of my favorite quality documentaries by the greatest directors, and I hope that this will give Patricia Highsmith the recognition in her home country that she has always deserved!”

“The great team of Zeitgeist offered a theatrical rollout for the newest biopic of Patricia Highsmith, which aligns with the release strategy of our distribution partners all over Europe and Asia,” added Abdalla of sales agent Autlook. “We are very much looking forward to seeing films released theatrically again.”

Two of the leading distribution companies for art-house and international films in the U.S., Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber entered into a multi-year strategic alliance in 2017. The New-York based Zeitgeist, founded in 1988, has distributed early films by such notable directors as Todd Haynes, Christopher Nolan, Francois Ozon, Olivier Assayas, Laura Poitras, Atom Egoyan and the Quay Brothers. Their catalog also includes films from Margerethe Von Trotta, Ken Loach, Guy Maddin, Derek Jarman, Peter Greenaway, Yvonne Rainer, Andrei Zyvagintsev, Astra Taylor and Raoul Peck. Previous Zeitgeist Films releases in association with Kino Lorber include Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, Connie Hochman’s In Balanchine’s Classroom, Blerta Basholli’s Hive and, most recently, Daniel Raim’s Fiddler’s Journey To The Big Screen.

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