'Free The Nipple' Picked Up By Sundance Selects for North American Release

Free the Nipple Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Sundance Selects

Free the Nipple Still - H 2014

The controversial film counts Miley Cyrus and Rihanna among its supporters

Free the Nipple, the film that inspired protests by topless women in New York City and launched a social media movement with Miley Cyrus among its participants, will receive a North American release from Sundance Selects.

Lina Esco's film is inspired by true events and follows a group of female activists' topless publicity stunts and graffiti installations on the streets of New York City. It questions why media censorship is not restrictive of images of violence, but restrictive of images of women's breasts.

The film itself faced difficulty securing a release due to its prospective NC-17 rating, which led Esco to explore crowdfunding to distribute the movie, she told The Huffington Post. Sundance Selects' release will be rated R.

The film has already garnered support on social media and from celebrities. Earlier this year Scout Willis, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis's daughter, strolled topless around New York City to protest Instagram's posting restrictions, drawing support from Rihanna, who commented to Willis on Twitter. Cyrus tweeted in support of the Free the Nipple campaign, "It's not about getting your titties out. It's about equality."

Esco directed from a script by Hunter Richards, and she stars alongside The Good Wife's Zach Grenier, Lola Kirke (Gone Girl), Casey LaBow (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Monique Coleman (High School Musical) and Griffin Newman (Top Five). The film features original music by Nick Littlemore of the electro-pop band Empire of the Sun, Empire producer Peter Mayes and Henry Hey.

Esco, Richards and Lisa Azuelos produced with Gigi Graff and Leah Kilpatrick co-producing. Julien Madon, Dominique Romano and Lisa Momberger executive produced.

WTFilms' Gregory Chambet and Dimitri Stephanides negotiated the distribution deal on the filmmakers' behalf.

Sundance Selects' recent acquisitions include Phoenix, the latest film from acclaimed German director Christian Petzold, which the distributor picked up at the Toronto Film Festival. Its previous releases include Blue is the Warmest Color and Werner Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams

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