UK outfit takes Merz’s US political doc about Ghana which premiered at Sundance

Distributor Dogwoof has taken all UK rights to first-time director Jarreth J Merz’s Sundance documentary An African Election about the political process in Ghana.

Dogwoof acquired the behind-the-scenes documentary from the film’s producers with Ellen Pittelman’s Hybrid Entertainment acting as an intermediate. They will roll the film out theatrically and via its Ambassadors scheme from November 11.

Oli Harbottle, Head Of Distribution, Dogwoof told Screen: “This is an eye-opening, important and entertaining film about the political system in Africa, which also gets quite hairy at times.”

Director Merz, who grew up in Ghana, added: “I returned to Ghana after a 27-year absence. The presidential election of 2008 became a lens for my journey. I was amazed by the obstacles to a good life. But this was also one of the most transparent elections you could imagine, despite the very real threat of a military coup. The key messages from this film are that democracy is not perfect but is often the best standard available to people - we mustn’t take that for granted; also that we in the west can learn a great deal from Africa.”

This is the film’s first commercial distribution deal after securing an educational release in the US.

Merz will be touring the film in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana later this year as part of a ‘political safari’ in which the team will meet with local politicians and discuss the political process in their countries.