NEW YORK, THINKFilm has acquired North American rights to NANKING, the acclaimed documentary that recently had its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The deal was announced by the company’s Theatrical Head, Mark Urman, who plans to release the film in exclusive engagements in late 2007. NANKING is slated to continue on the festival circuit, with its next stop at Silverdocs, among others to be announced shortly.
NANKING, which marks the producing debut of AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis and is directed by the Academy-Award-winning team of Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman ("Twin Towers"), is a powerful reminder of the heartbreaking toll that war takes on the innocent, and a testament to the courage and conviction of a few individuals determined to act in the face of evil. The film tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China in the early days of World War II and focuses on the efforts of a small group of unarmed Westerners who established a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge.
The events of the film are told through deeply moving interviews with Chinese survivors, archival footage, and chilling testimonies of Japanese soldiers, interwoven with staged readings of the Westerners’ letters and diaries as performed by Jurgen Prochnow, Woody Harrelson, Stephen Dorff, and Mariel Hemingway, among others.
"NANKING is an exceedingly well-crafted and moving historical recreation of a shocking event," says Urman. "We are proud to add it to our roster of first-rate documentaries and believe that, like the best of them, it will move and enlighten audiences for years to come."
"We are thrilled that THINKFilm has come on board to distribute NANKING," says producer Ted Leonsis. "Their track record with documentaries is unparalleled and they share my passion for the subject matter. Recent events in Asia have reminded us that what happened in NANKING 70 years ago this December remains an open wound between China and Japan. If the release of this film, with its antiwar message can help heal that at all, it will be especially gratifying."
NANKING is directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, produced by Ted Leonsis, Bill Guttentag and Michael Jacobs, with story by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, and screenplay by Elisabeth Bentley, Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman.
The deal was negotiated for THINKFilm by President and CEO Jeff Sackman, Head of Theatrical Mark Urman, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Business Affairs Randy Manis, and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.