Metrograph Pictures Boards Documentary 'The Raft' for North America (Exclusive)

The Raft
Metrograph Pictures

Marcus Lindeen’s award-winning doc tells the true story of a 1970s social experiment, in which 11 people were put on a free-floating raft on the high seas.

Metrograph Pictures has taken North American rights for Marcus Lindeen’s award-winning documentary The Raft, the true story of a bizarre 1970s social experiment described as “the sex raft” by tabloid newspapers at the time.

In the summer of 1973, six woman and five men agreed to embark on a close-quarters trip across the Atlantic from Spain to Mexico on a free-floating raft christened the Acali. The voyage was the brainchild of Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genoves, who wanted to use the group as guinea pigs to explore the origins of violent conflict and dynamics of sexual attraction. 

Director Lindeen tells the true story through 16mm video footage of the trip, as well as in-depth interviews with surviving crewmembers, who reunite to reenact and recollect their experience more than 40 years ago.

The Raft premiered at the CPH:DOX festival in Denmark where it won the Grand Jury Award. It has been a hit on the festival circuit, picking up best documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival and a special mention at the Athens International Film Fest.

Metrograph Pictures will open the film Friday, June 7, at its Metrograph theater in New York, with a nationwide rollout to follow.

"Marcus Lindeen has brought a truly unique vision to life in his telling of this truth is stranger than fiction story of sex and survival on the high seas,” said Metrograph head of distribution, George Schmalz. “We are thrilled The Raft is now part of the Metrograph collection, and even more thrilled to offer it to audiences this summer.”

The deal was negotiated by Schmalz with Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.