Lebanon’s Oscar Entry for 2020 Starring Nadine Labaki Is Set for Release in North America on January 19th 2021
The distribution company Utopia has acquired the North American rights to the multiple Award-winning Lebanese drama film 1982, the feature debut by Oualid Mouaness starring celebrated actor and director Nadine Labaki is a story of a boyhood crush, childhood imagination and a nation at war.
Winner of the Toronto International Film Festival 2019 NETPAC Prize and Lebanon’s Entry for Best Foreign-Language Film for the Academy Awards 2020, 1982 has screened at festivals around the world to critical acclaim and will release nationwide on VOD platforms on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, courtesy of Utopia.
Inspired by the director’s boyhood memories of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, 1982 revisits a cataclysmic moment in Lebanese history through a different lens. At a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, as the geopolitical conflict inches closer and closer, 11-year-old Wissam (Mohamad Dalli) is more intent on finding the courage to tell his classmate he loves her. For a dreamer like Wissam, who is more likely to be drawing than playing football, it’s hard to comprehend the gravity of the impending violence. But for his teachers, Yesmine (Nadine Labaki) and Joseph (Rodrigue Sleiman), the jets in the sky signal something greater. As they try to mask their growing fears for the sake of the students, they also attempt to hide the fractures in their relationship, as they fall on different sides of the political divide. Mouaness, who also wrote the script, splits the film between these two perspectives; that of the adults and that of the children, to explore the complexities of love and war.
“Oualid Mouaness’ 1982 manages to capture the beauty and innocence of childhood’s first blush of love amidst the backdrop of a traumatic war ripping apart the city of Beirut. It is a quietly impactful film that resounds long after viewing, and Utopia is thrilled to be bringing it to U.S. audiences.” says Danielle DiGiacamo, Head of Content for Utopia.
Utopia, the sales and distribution company co-founded by Robert Schwartzman, launched with Academy Award winner Errol Morris’ controversial documentary AMERICAN DHARMA, the Cannes and SXSW lauded feature MICKEY AND THE BEAR, Lynn Shelton’s SWORD OF TRUST starring Marc Maron in 2019. Utopia’s 2020 titles include Suzi Quatro documentary SUZI Q and Sundance favorite BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS and THE EMOJI STORY.
1982 was produced by Tricycle Logic, Mad Dog Films and Abbout Productions, and co-produced by Norway’s Barentsfilm in association with Boo Pictures, Soapbox Films and Old Mill Ventures, with the support of the Doha Film Institute, Sørfond+ and the International Organization of La Francophonie’s Image de la Francophonie fund.