Sideshow, Janus Films Buy North American Rights to Berlinale Prizewinning ‘Orlando, My Political Biography’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sideshow and Janus Films have bought North American rights for “Orlando, My Political Biography,” Paul B. Preciado’s film which won four awards at the Berlinale.

In “Orlando, My Political Biography,” Preciado sheds light on Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” the first novel in which the main character changes sex in the middle of the story.  A century later, Preciado, who is a trans writer and activist, decides to send a film letter to Woolf, telling her that Orlando has come out of her fiction and is living a life she could have never imagined. Preciado organizes a casting and gathers 26 contemporary trans and non-binary people, from 8 to 70 years old, who embody Orlando.

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The film was produced by Les Films du Poisson’s Yaël Fogiel and Laetitia Gonzalez and co-produced by 24images’ Annie Ohayon and Farid Rezkallah and Arte.

“Orlando, My Political Biography” world premiered in the Berlinale Encounters section and won four awards including the Teddy Award for best documentary, Special Jury Mention in Encounters, Special Jury Mention for best documentary and the Tagspiegel Readers Award.

Sideshow and Janus Films are planning a theatrical release following a run of high-profile festivals in North America. Deal was negotiated by The Party Film Sales on behalf of the filmmakers with Sideshow and Janus Films.

The Party Film Sales has closed a raft of major international deals of the film with Picturehouse (U.K. and Ireland), L’Atalante (Spain), Fandango (Italy), Gutek Films (Poland) and Nitrato (Portugal).

“We were blown away by ‘Orlando, My Political Biography,’ a funny, smart, visually stunning film that is at once playful and deadly serious, a landmark film that will be of lasting cultural importance, both for its formal inventiveness and for the way it engages with trans identity,” said Peter Becker, Janus Films partner. “The energy of liberation and poetry that enlivens this film, combined with the incredible evidence of the richness, variety, and vitality of trans life it presents, is truly exhilarating,” Becker continued.

Sideshow and Janus Films currently have Jerzy Skolimowski’s Oscar-nominated “EO” which recently crossed 1 million dollars at the North American box office. They are also collaborating on “All That Breathes” which is nominated for best documentary at the Oscars. Their first joint release was Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” which won last year’s best international film at the Oscars, and was also nominated in major categories for best picture, director and adapted screenplay.

“Orlando, My Political Biography” is one of several critically acclaimed movies acquired by Sideshow and Janus Films out of the Berlinale. They also picked up Lila Avilés’ “Totem” which won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, and Christian Petzold’s “Afire” which won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the festival.

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