Kino Lorber Acquires Worldwide Rights to Afrofuturist Musical Neptune Frost by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman
KINO LORBER ACQUIRES WORLDWIDE RIGHTS TO AFROFUTURIST MUSICAL NEPTUNE FROST BY SAUL WILLIAMS AND ANISIA UZEYMAN
The Film Had Its World Premiere at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and Has Since Been Invited to TIFF, NYFF, and Sundance
“Pure cinematic power. These images are nourishment for the soul, showing us what’s possible for a Black future.”
– Jourdain Searles, The Hollywood Reporter
“Visionary. Uzeyman’s cinematography will take the viewer on a journey of visual ecstasy.” – Valerie Complex, Deadline
“A sensory delight. Bursts of eloquence transport the viewer into another’s experience, shaking us out of our Western apathy with an elegant refrain.” – Jude Dry, Indiewire
New York, NY – December 17, 2021 – Kino Lorber announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to Afrofuturist musical Neptune Frost, co-directed by poet, musician, and actor Saul Williams and playwright and director Anisia Uzeyman. The film had its world premiere last Summer at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight before screening at TIFF and NYFF during the Fall. Neptune Frost was recently invited to screen in Sundance's selective Spotlight Section. Actor Ezra Miller, theater producer Stephen Hendel, and award-winning composer, actor, and director Lin-Manuel Miranda are among the film's producers.
Part of a broader artistic project, Neptune Frost is a sui generis Afrofuturist, sci-fi punk musical that offers a visually wondrous amalgamation of many of the themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has explored in his work, notably his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing. A collaboration with Rwandan-born artist Anisia Uzeyman, the film takes place amid the hilltops of Burundi, where a collective of computer hackers emerges from a mining community, the result of a romance between a miner and an intersex runaway. Set between states of being—past and present, dream and waking life, colonized and free, male and female, memory and prescience—Neptune Frost is an invigorating and empowering direct download to the cerebral cortex and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends.
The deal was negotiated by Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber and SVP Wendy Lidell with CAA Media Finance.
"Williams and Uzeyman are visionary artists in full control of their powers and Neptune Frost is clearly the result of a long process of artistic exploration and political meditation," said Lorber. "As a film of exceptional visual and aural originality, it rewards being experienced on the biggest screen possible. No work better fulfills our company’s mantra, ‘experience cinema’ and we can’t wait to bring such a unique filmic achievement to audiences around the world."
“We are proud to partner with Kino Lorber whose taste, guts, and savvy we trust to land Neptune Frost in a theater near you,” added Williams and Uzeyman.
Kino Lorber will release Neptune Frost theatrically in the U.S. in 2022, followed by a digital release on Kino Now and all major TVOD platforms, plus home video. Kino Lorber will initiate international sales in early 2022 at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Hi-res stills can be downloaded here
About Saul Williams (Composer, Co-director)
Saul Williams is an American poet, musician, and actor. He made his acting debut in Marc Levin’s Slam, which he co-wrote. The film won Sundance's Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera D'Or in 1998. Saul was a series regular on Girlfriends and has appeared in films including: K-Pax, Lackawanna Blues, New York, I Love You, Akilla’s Escape (TIFF 2020) and Aujourd'hui- TEY (Alain Gomis) which won 2013's L'Etalon D'Or at FESPACO. Saul was the first African-American to win Best Actor at the festival. TEY was also awarded The Prize of the City at Venice. In 2014, Saul made his Broadway debut as the lead in , based on the lyrics of Tupac Shakur. Saul has published five books of poetry which have been translated into several languages. As a musician, Saul has released six albums and toured and collaborated with artists including: Kanye West, Nas, Janelle Monae, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, The Roots, Mos Def, Allen Ginsburg, Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron, TV On The Radio, Blackalicious, and Erykah Badu.
About Anisia Azeyman (Co-director)
Anisia Uzeyman is an actress, playwright and director. Born in Rwanda, she studied drama at the Superior School of Theater in France. Her directorial debut Dreamstates was shot entirely on iPhones and starred Saul Williams, William Nadylam and Beau Sia. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2016. She has also directed numerous music videos. As an actress Anisia has starred in, among others, the award winning film Aujourd'hui-TEY where she met Saul Williams, and the feature film Ayiti Mon Amour by Guetty Felin which premiered at TIFF 2017. Her first book, a poetic treatment of her original screenplay Saolomea, was published by Not a Cult this Fall.
About Kino Lorber
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct to consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1000 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched in 2020 pioneering "virtual theatrical" releases of art-house films with revenue shares that allows audiences to support almost 400 local independent theaters.