Kino Lorber announced that it has acquired all North American distribution rights to Carlos Conceição’s ambitious and exquisitely crafted Tommy Guns, a genre-fluid fantasia that vengefully engages with Angola’s colonial past while evoking the work of Miguel Gomes, Claire Denis, and even M. Night Shyamalan. The film will make its North American premiere at New Directors/New Films with director Carlos Conceição and actor João Arrais in attendance, followed by a theatrical release via Kino Lorber on April 12.
The second feature by emerging Angolan-Portuguese writer/director Carlos Conceição following his fantastical debut Serpentarius, Tommy Guns premiered at the 2022 Locarno International Film Festival, where it received both the Europa Prize, given to the best European film, and the Youth Jury Award. The film is produced by Leonor Noivo, João Matos, Luisa Homem, Pedro Pinho, Susana Nobre, and Tiago Hespanha, and co-produced by Virginie Lacombe and Arnaud Quesada.
Carlos Conceição’s audacious and enigmatic Tommy Guns invokes the ghosts of Angola’s colonial past while embracing the symbolic power of genre filmmaking. The story begins in 1974, just one year before the country’s independence from centuries of Portuguese rule. Wealthy colonists are fleeing the country as Angolan revolutionaries gradually claim their land back. A tribal girl discovers love and danger when her path crosses that of a Portuguese soldier. Another group of soldiers, completely cut off from the outside world, blindly follow the brutal orders of their commander in the name of serving their country. But nothing stays fixed in this genre-shifting cinematic puzzle, which swerves from art house drama to war film to zombie flick to escape thriller with exhilarating control, and announces the arrival of a bold and exciting new voice in Portuguese and Angolan filmmaking.
The deal for Tommy Guns was negotiated by Kino Lorber Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell and Maxime Montagne and Marco Urizzi for Wide.
“We were dazzled by Tommy Guns, an astonishing film from writer/director Carlos Conceição that marks the emergence of an utterly singular filmmaker. Carlos has crafted an electrifying roller coaster ride of a film that transcends genre, a ghost story that captures the horrors of war and the thrill of vengeance with precision and complete confidence. It's our pleasure to introduce North American audiences to Carlos at the beginning of his sure to be illustrious career,” said Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell.
“It is very rare for a Portuguese or Angolan film to enjoy such a window into the English-speaking world, much less with the importance of Kino Lorber, whose curation and catalog I have admired for years,” said writer/director Carlos Conceição. “This acquisition sets a new bar for me and my team, but more importantly, this particular narrative will be presented for the first time to many North American viewers. There is a lot of common ground between our histories, and I am very much looking forward to sharing it.”