SCREENDAILY – Altitude Film Distribution has struck a deal with sales agent Celluloid Dreams for UK rights to Otto Bell’s documentary The Eagle Huntress.
The film tells the tale of a young girl who is determined to become the first woman to enter Mongolia’s annual Golden Eagle Festival. Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley narrates and is also an executive producer on the project.
Sharon Chang and Stacey Reiss produced along with director Bell.
Following its premiere at January’s Sundance Film Festival, and recent berths in Toronto and Telluride, the feature is set to screen at the BFI London Film Festival on October 6 and 9.
Celluloid Dreams closed a deal with Sony Pictures Classics in Sundance for North And South America, Scandinavia, Australia/New Zealand, Germany/Austria and Asia.
Further deals have been closed for France (ARP Selection), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), Spain (Caramel), Switzerland (Praesens), Turkey (Filmarti), Portugal (Film 4 You), Ex-Yugoslavia (21 Films), and Bulgaria (Bulgaria Film Vision).
Will Clarke, CEO & co-founder of Altitude Film Entertainment commented: “It is a beautiful film that offers unique glimpses into this remote community as they balance their traditional lifestyle with the modern world, but it is Aisholpan’s determination to pursue her dream which is such a powerful story of female empowerment and provides inspiration which is universal and contemporary.”
INDIEWIRE – “The Eagle Huntress,” the extraordinary true story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl who trained to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, is coming to theaters this fall.
Screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics acquired the documentary back in February and has just released the first trailer. Set against the breath-taking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, the film is narrated by Daisy Ridley and directed by Otto Bell.
The story follows the young girl as she rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. While many old Kazakh eagle hunters have rejected the idea of a women taking part in the sport, Aisholpan’s father Nurgaiv believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she’s determined.
This inspirational narrative perfectly captures Aisholpan as she works hard, refuses to give up and overcomes many obstacles to make her dreams come true.
The documentary is executive produced by Ridley and Morgan Spurlock and produced by Stacy Reiss, Sharon Chang and Bell. It also features an original song, “Angel by the Wings,” performed and co-written by Sia.
“The Eagle Huntress” opens in New York and Los Angeles on October 28, followed by nationwide expansion.
DEADLINE – In the final feather in the cap of a memorable dealmaking Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American rights to The Eagle Huntress, in a mid-seven-figure deal that includes select international territories including Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Germany, Scandinavia and Asia. SPC will plot a significant theatrical release for one of the best reviewed docus of 2016 Sundance, and this is just the first step for a film whose themes of female empowerment will allow it to travel far.
I’m told that Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley will narrate the documentary, this coming days after she signed on to be executive producer to use her clout to help boost the film. At the same time, several companies are negotiating for the right to turn the story of 13-year-old Aisholpan Nurgaiv and her eagle into an animated feature, and Ridley will provide the voice for the young heroine. CAA brokered the deal for the docu, and will make the deal for the animated feature.
This caps a storybook festival finish for the first documentary to premiere in the Sundance Kids section when it debuted January 24 at the Prospector Square Park Theatre. What director Otto Bell captured on screen is unprecedented, and the film will be a buzz title come the next awards season. The deal means that SPC’s Michael Barker and Tom Bernard walked off the mountain with four films, including the Frank Zappa docu Eat That Question, the Wall Street drama Equity, and the John Krasinski-directed The Hollars.Continue Reading (…)
DEADLINE – You cannot escape the Star Wars phenomenon, even at an indie film fest just getting underway in Park City. Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley has come aboard to be executive producer of The Eagle Huntress, the first documentary to premiere in the Sundance Kids section, with a Sunday debut at the Prospector Square Park Theatre. Morgan Spurlock, exec producer of the film, divulged this to me and said that Ridley signed on after seeing a cut of the film. She hopes it helps create awareness of what they describe as an epic tale of female empowerment.
Directed by Otto Bell, The Eagle Huntress is the true story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Mongolian girl who strives to become the first female Eagle Hunter in 2,000 years of male-dominated history. Under the tutelage and support of her father and her grandfather, she learns all aspects of this ancient tradition, including taming her very own eaglet and training it for the annual Golden Eagle Festival, which involves competing against male Eagle Hunters from all over the country. She even dreams of hunting in the frozen winters to prove that a girl can do anything a boy can, so long as she’s determined.