EXCLUSIVE: Documentary on refugee crisis from prominent artist was shot in 23 countries including Afghanistan.
Lionsgate has added Ai Weiwei’s global refugee crisis documentary Human Flow from Participant Media and AC Films to a muscular Cannes slate that includes Chaos Walking and Flarsky.
The feature-length documentary is the latest title in the sales pact between Lionsgate International and Participant Media that kicked off in Berlin with José Padilha’s Untitled Entebbe Project and Rupert Wyatt’s sci-fi thriller Captive State.
Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei shot Human Flow in 23 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sweden and Italy in a bid to capture the scale of the global refugee crisis.
The film, currently in post, focuses on the plight of some of the estimated 65 million forcibly displaced people who have fled their homes in search of better lives. UTA Independent Film Group handles North American rights.
The producer roster includes Ai Weiwei, Chin-chin Yap and Heino Deckert. Serving as executive producers are Andy Cohen of AC Films and Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann of Participant Media.
“Human Flow is an unprecedented opportunity for distributors to work with one of today’s most vital artists on a film of unmatched immediacy to our current human experience,” said Lionsgate International chief Patrick Wachsberger.
“The potential for this film, and our distribution partners, to make a difference in people’s lives is very real. We are thrilled to be involved with Ai WeiWei and our Participant friends on this remarkable film.”
While Ai Weiwei has directed and produced numerous documentaries, his work has turned him into an international celebrity.
His provocative work and confrontations with the Chinese authorities were the subject of Alison Klayman’s Sundance 2012 documentary special jury prize-winning documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Say Sorry.
Wachsberger and the Lionsgate International team will continue talks with buyers on Untitled Entebbe Project and Captive State.