Berlinale Title ‘Concerned Citizen’ Sells to Several Additional Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

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Berlin-based sales outfit M-Appeal has closed sales on Berlin Panorama title “Concerned Citizen” – Idan Haguel’s satirical feature on privilege and prejudice set in Tel Aviv – for several additional territories.

Distribution in the U.K. and Ireland will be handled by Peccadillo Pictures; Arti Film will be distributing the film in Benelux, with a nationwide theatrical release at selected cinemas planned later in the year; Tongariro Releasing has taken the rights for Poland, planning a festival run and theatrical release in arthouse cinemas for summer 2022; and Queer Kino has come on board to handle the film in the Czech Republic, where it will have a national premiere at Mezipatra Queer Film Festival and a theatrical release is planned for early 2023.

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Following its world premiere at the Berlinale in February, the film has already been picked up for distribution in North America (Greenwich Entertainment), and Germany and Austria (Salzgeber).

“Concerned Citizen” follows Ben, a liberal gay man, as he tries to improve his neighborhood in south Tel-Aviv by planting a tree on his street. This triggers a sequence of events that results in him getting mixed up in the brutal police arrest of an immigrant. The guilt trip that ensues challenges Ben’s self-image and threatens to destroy his relationship and aspirations of fatherhood.

With a complex and thought-provoking approach to its central gay characters, the film takes a sharp-eyed look at social issues of gentrification, racism and police brutality.

Haguel said: “Although the film focuses on gay characters, it does so to reflect the bourgeoisie elements of the community in Tel Aviv, to tell a story about LGBTQ characters from a different angle. It is not necessarily about love or coming out, but about a world where gay characters – who are normally the victims – become the victimizers.”

Tom Abell, managing director of Peccadillo Pictures, said: “ ‘Concerned Citizen’ is a revealing portrait of the consequences of casual racism. A very powerful film that we’re proud to have within the Peccadillo catalog.”

Hans Kok, managing partner at Arti Film, added: “ ‘Concerned Citizen’ offers a true vision of daily life in Israel’s Tel-Aviv.”

Starring Shlomi Bertonov and Ariel Wolf, the film is produced by Haguel alongside Gil Sima, Binyamin Gurevitch and Itay Akirav. It is supported by the Rabinovitch Film Fund.

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