Kino Lorber has acquired US rights to Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iranian drama about state censorship, Manuscripts Don’t Burn.

Rasoulof’s latest film marks a return to filmmaking after the Iranian Revolutionary Court sentenced him in 2010 to six years in jail and a 20-year filmmaking ban.

The prison term was subsequently reduced to one year. After flying to Iran in September 2013 with the intent to return to Hamburg later that month, Rasoulof’s passport was confiscated by Iranian authorities. He remains unable to leave Iran.

Rasoulof filmed Manuscripts Don’t Burn without federal permission and in order to maintain the safety of the film’s crew, their names have been removed from the film’s final credits. The story centres on an Iranian author secretly writing his memoirs that the authorities want to destroy.

The drama screened in Un Certain Regard in Cannes last year where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. It also screened in Toronto and is scheduled for a one-week theatrical premiere at the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in mid-June prior to opening in key arthouse markets throughout the US.

Kino Lorber will release the film in the educational market as well as on VOD and other ancillary platforms. CEO Richard Lorber brokered the deal with Adeline Fontan Tessaur of Elle Driver.

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