Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films have jointly acquired U.S. distribution rights to Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard selection “Rehana” from sales agent Films Boutique.
The film will open in cinemas in early 2022 followed by digital, home video, and non-theatrical releases.
The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey of Grasshopper Film with Julien Razafindranaly of Films Boutique.
The film follows Rehana, played by Azmeri Haque Badhon, an assistant professor at a medical college, who struggles to keep the harmony between work and family, as she has to play all the complex roles of a teacher, doctor, sister, daughter, and mother. One evening, she witnesses a student storming out of a professor’s office, crying. Deeply affected by this event, Rehana’s descends into obsession, seeking retribution, just as she receives a complaint from the school about her six-year-old daughter’s unusual behavior. Her quest for justice pits her against the deeply embedded forces of patriarchy in Bangladeshi society.
“Rehana” is the first film from Bangladesh to officially screen at Cannes. The film received a prolonged standing ovation at its Cannes world premiere, followed by wide critical acclaim.
Grasshopper’s upcoming releases include Tsai Ming-Liang’s “Days,” James Vaughan’s “Friends and Strangers” and Camilo Restrepo’s “Los Conductos.”
Mumbai and Los Angeles based Gratitude Films was founded by international festival programmer and acquisitions executive Anu Rangachar to acquire and distribute world cinema with a focus on Asian and Indian films. Earlier this year, Gratitude and Deaf Crocodile Films acquired North American rights to Berlin title “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs” and Mumbai Film Festival selection “The Village House.”
“Rehana” was produced by Jeremy Chua of Singapore’s Potocol, in association with Bangladesh’s Metro Video. The project was made with the support of the Doha Film Institute Post Production Grant 2020 and the Busan Asian Cinema Fund. It is co-produced by Sensemakers (Bangladesh) and associate produced by Girelle Production (France). Rajib Mohajan, Saydul Khandaker Shabuj and Adnan Habib serve as co-producers, Ehsanul Haque Babu as executive producer and Johann Chapelan as associate producer.
“’Rehana’ is an extraordinarily assured and gripping feature film from an incredibly exciting new filmmaker,” said Krivoshey.
“Abdullah Mohammad Saad is one of the brightest voices to have emerged out of the Bangladeshi new wave and ‘Rehana’ is his breathtaking second feature,” said Rangachar.
Saad’s debut feature “Live from Dhaka” won best director and best actor at the Singapore International Film Festival in 2016, and went on to screen at other festivals including Rotterdam and Locarno.