Drafthouse Films Nabs Cannes Winner 'The Tribe' for North America

The Tribe Still Cannes - H 2014
Courtesy of Festival de Cannes

The Tribe Still Cannes - H 2014

The film set in a boarding school for the deaf won three awards in the Critics' Week section.

Drafthouse Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Cannes Critics’ Week award winner The Tribe, and will release it theatrically in 2015.

The first feature from Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy is set in a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, and the story is told purely through sign language without the use of subtitles or voiceover.

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Screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, The Tribe won three awards in the Critics' Week competition: the Nespresso Grand Prize, the France 4 Visionary Award and the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution grant.

In THR's review, critic Leslie Felperin wrote: "The use of sign language, deafness and silence itself adds several heady new ingredients to the base material, alchemically creating something rich, strange and very original."

The project was produced by Valentyn Vasyanovych and Iya Myslytska from Garmata Film Production and stars deaf actors Grigory Fesenko and Yana Novikova.

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“As I was watching The Tribe, the goosebumps on my arms quickly signaled that I was seeing something truly special,” said Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League in a statement. “Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy is a massive talent. I am confident that he will quickly become a world-renowned director, and I am excited and proud to be sharing his striking first feature with North America.”

Drafthouse plans to screen the film in select theaters across North America and release it on VOD platforms and digital, DVD and Blu-ray formats.