We saw a lot of films at this past Cannes. You may not realize it, but attending Cannes is work. The jet lag, the meetings, the screenings – its exhausting. But it was all out the window while we were watching Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's The Tribe. It’s one of those films after which movie lovers quest: something truly original.
Never mind the perceived hyperbole: we have never seen a film like this. You have never seen a film like this. It's a film without dialog, told only through Ukranian sign language. There is no voice-over. There are no subtitles. The story is told entirely through affect, through the emotions on screen, and background diegetic sound. It redefines the power of cinematic language. Check out the films' sales trailer for an idea of what that looks like (warning: contains nudity).
We left the theater stunned, and made an offer on the film immediately. Press picked up on The Tribe. It became known as "the sign language film." Indiewire ran a thunderous review calling it "an unprecedented cinematic accomplishment." The Guardian called it "the great discovery of this year's festival." And then it won the Independent Critics' Week Award, sparking a bidding war. Having been so profoundly moved by the film, we hadn't waited for theawards to come in before making an offer—we already knew that the film was something special and that we wanted it.
Today, we're extremely excited to announce the acquisition of The Tribe.
Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without a need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level. The film dominated the Cannes’ Independent Critics’ Week awards, winning the Nespresso Grand Prize, the France 4 Visionary Award and the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution grant.
Directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy and produced by Valentyn Vasyanovych and Iya Myslytska from Garmata Film Production, The Tribe’s astonishingly intimate and raw depiction of disenchanted youth features a cast comprised entirely of non-professional, deaf actors including leads Grigory Fesenko as Sergey and Yana Novikova as Anna.
“As I was watching The Tribe, the goosebumps on my arms quickly signaled that I was seeing something truly special,” said our CEO, Tim League. “Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy is a massive talent. I am confident that he will quickly become a world-renowned director, and I am excited and proud to be sharing his striking first feature with North America.”
Look for The Tribe on the festival circuit in the next few months ahead of its theatrical release in 2015. Sign up to be notified when The Tribe is available to watch via GoWatchIt: http://bit.ly/1mCxVXa