Locarno Film Festival War Drama Tommy Guns Gets North American Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Kino Lorber has struck a deal with Paris-based sales firm Wide for North American distribution rights to Carlos Conceição’s Locarno Film Festival war drama Tommy Guns.

The pic will receive a North American premiere at New Directors/New Films, the annual film festival hosted jointly by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Conceição and actor João Arrais will be in attendance, and a theatrical release via Kino Lorber will follow on April 12.

Billed as “a genre-fluid fantasia” that engages with Angola’s colonial past, the pic opens in 1974, one year before the country’s independence from Portuguese rule. Wealthy colonists are fleeing the country as Angolan revolutionaries gradually reclaim land. It’s against this backdrop that a young tribal girl crosses paths with a Portuguese soldier, which introduces her to a new world of love and danger. At the same time, 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.

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Tommy Guns is Conceição’s second feature following his debut Serpentarius. The film premiered at the 2022 Locarno 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. The deal 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,” said Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell.

“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.”

Discussing the acquisition, Conceição added that it is “very rare” for a Portuguese or Angolan film to “enjoy such a window into the English-speaking world.”

“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,” Conceição said. “There is a lot of common ground between our histories, and I am very much looking forward to sharing it.”

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