LevelK has sold Kosovan drama Hive, which won three major awards at Sundance, to Kino Lorber in association with Zeitgeist Films for North America; Altitude for the UK and Ireland; and Icon for Australia and New Zealand.
The film also sold to China (Beijing Hugoeast Media); Scandinavia (Edge Entertainment); Portugal (Films4you); Czech Republic (HBO Central Europe); Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia (Kino Mediteran); Turkey (Filmarti); and Greece (Cinobo). LevelK is also finalising more deals.
The film marks the feature debut of writer/director Blerta Basholli and tells the story of a woman (played by Yllka Gashi) whose husband has been missing since the Kosovo war. She launches a small food business with other women in the patriarchal village where she lives.
Hive was the big international winner at the online Sundance Film Festival this year, picking up the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic, and Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic prizes.
Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman, Zeitgeist Films co-presidents said: “We had reached our ideal limit of five carefully chosen films per year to distribute when Hive came along. This film had such a powerful effect on us that it was impossible to ignore, and impossible not to want to bring to North American audiences.”
Altitude’s Head of Acquisitions Laura Wilson added: “While Hive shines an important light on the aftermath of the Kosovan war, it’s also a story of women overcoming injustices in a patriarchal society, which will resonate and motivate all around the world.”
Producers are Yll Uka and Valon Bajgora for Ikonë Studio and Industria Film and backers include the Kosovo Cinematography Center, OFC aide à la réalisation, Macedonian Film Agency, Albanian National Film Center, RTS Swiss National TV, Cinéforom selective, Cinéforom automatic, SPA (Succès Passage Antenne).