Mediawan Rights Ramps Up Documentary Slate With Pair of Pickups (EXCLUSIVE)

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Mediawan Rights, the sales arm of European media group Mediawan, is ramping up its documentary slate with the addition of two new feature films, Variety has learned.

Directed by Ado Hasanovic, “My Father’s Diaries” is an intimate portrait of the Bosnian War that uses 8mm footage shot by the director’s family, as well as his father’s written account of the period from the start of the war through the infamous “death march” that saw some 15,000 Bosniaks attempt to trek more than 60 miles to escape Serbian forces.

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Produced by Italian powerhouse Palomar (“The Name of the Rose”), pic is the story of a son who grew up in the shadow of war and seeks answers to his trauma through the films and writings his father left behind. Acting as co-producer, Mediawan Rights is looking for presales to round out the financing.

Arianna Castoldi, Mediawan Rights’ head of documentary sales, said: “The traumatic event of the Srebrenica massacre has already been the subject of feature films, and the recent conviction of Ratko Mladic, considered to be one of the main instigators of the ethnic cleansing, has further put it under the spotlight. Ado’s approach, and his incredible family story, will allow the story to be told at a deeply personal level for the first time.”

Mediawan has also acquired the rights to “A Marriage,” by Katerina Hager and Asaq Faruqi, which premiered in Hot Docs earlier this year. The film centers on Zdenka, a single woman in Czech Republic, who met Tabish, a computer scientist in Pakistan, while playing the online video game FarmVille. Romance blossomed, and their evolving relationship—along with the countless hurdles it had to overcome—became the subject of an intimate look at the conundrum faced by many couples around the world.

“A Marriage” (pictured) will be released in Czech Republic this fall on public broadcaster Czech Television. Mediawan Rights is hoping for further festival exposure, as well as sales both for the theatrical market and to broadcasters, as the feature is also available in a TV cut version.

“The team was absolutely amazed by the resilience of the couple,” said Castoldi. “Thanks to Katerina and Asaq’s direction, we were immediately moved by them and carried through their journey full of twists and turns, but most importantly of joy and humor.”

Currently taking part in the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival’s Agora industry platform, the Mediawan Rights team will be at the Cannes Film Market next week representing the Hot Docs premiere “The Caviar Connection,” by Benoit Bringer, and the upcoming documentary “Return to Raqqa,” by Albert Solé, which will mix archival footage, recent photography and animation to tell the story of Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, a former ISIS hostage in Syria.

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