Bruno Dumont’s Berlinale Prizewinner ‘The Empire’ Finds North American Distribution With Kino Lorber (EXCLUSIVE)

Kino Lorber has acquired North American distribution rights to Bruno Dumont’s “The Empire,” a sci-fi satire starring Anamaria Vartolomei (“Happening”), Camille Cottin (“Call My Agent!”), Lyna Khoudri (“The Three Musketeers”) and Fabrice Luchini.

“The Empire” just world premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear Jury Prize. The movie marks Dumont’s follow up to “France,” a dark comedy starring Léa Seydoux which competed at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release later this year, followed by a home video, educational and digital release on all major platforms. The acquisition of “The Empire” marks the sixth time that Kino Lorber has collaborated with Dumont, with previous releases including “Li’l Quinquin,” “Coincoin and the Extra-Humans,” “Slack Bay,” “Camille Claudel 1915” and, most recently, “France.”

The film is set in a quiet and picturesque fishing village in Northern France, where a special baby is born — a child so unique and peculiar that it unleashes a secret war between extraterrestrial forces of good and evil. In an attempt to restore their empires, two opposing forces from the depths of outer space, One and Zero, unleash an apocalyptic conflict on Earth.

“We’re exhilarated to board Bruno’s latest excursion into the cinematic future,” said Richard Lorber, chairman and CEO of Kino Lorber. “He pulls off new risks in ‘The Empire’ with philosophical wit and visual glee, inventing his own brand of special effects to make for stunts like no other.”

He continued, “Being a cinephile in the Dumont-osphere has never been so much fun, and our whole Kino Lorber gang is going into space training to navigate with the most adventurous auteur working today. We can’t wait to deliver this huge entertainment payload to American audiences, proving anew Bruno’s got the cinematic right stuff.”

The deal for “The Empire” was negotiated by Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell and Alexandre Moreau for Memento International.

“The Empire” has also been acquired in France (ARP), Benelux (Cineart), Italy (Academy Two), Sweden (Njuta), Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom), Bulgaria (Beta Film), Hungary (Vertigo), Baltics (Scanorama) and Indonesia (PT Falcon).

Kino Lorber most recently acquired the queer Sundance hit “Sebastian,” and unveiled the merger of leading international series streamers MHz Choice and Topic, which Kino acquired last year.

Kino Lorber’s 2023 roster also includes Kaouther Ben Hania’s “Four Daughters,” which is
nominated for best documentary at the Oscars. The film was produced by Tessalit Productions in co-production with Red Balloon Film, Ascent Film, Novak Prod, Rosa Filmes and Furyo Films. Producers are Jean Bréhat and Bertrand Faivre. Co-producers are Dorothe Beinemeier, Fabrizio Mosca, Andrea Paris, Matteo Rovere, Ines Vasiljevic, Olivier Dubois, Joaquim Sapinho, Marta Alves and Emma Binet.

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