Zeitgeist Films Acquires India's 'Court' for U.S. Distribution

Courtesy of Golden Orange Film Festival, Antalya

After winning awards at Venice and Mumbai, the title will also screen at New York's Film Forum ahead of its release.

New York-based Zeitgeist Films has acquired the multi-award winning Court by Chaitanya Tamhane for U.S. distribution.

With its thought-provoking take on India's judicial system, Court generated strong buzz on the festival circuit last year, playing at 19 festivals and winning 10 jury prizes.

Among its accolades, Tamhane was awarded the Venice Film Festival's Lion of the Future award with Court earning the Orizzonti Award for best film. At the Mumbai Film Festival, Court won best film in the international category, honoring the first film by a director. This was the first time an Indian film won in this section. Court also earned a best director win and a special jury mention for its ensemble cast.

Court begins with the discovery of a Mumbai sewage worker's body and the subsequent arrest and trial of an aging folk singer whose songs may have pushed the worker to suicide. As the trial unfolds, the film also looks at the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case.

Court will play at the New Directors/New Films festival in March, organized by Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. This will be followed by a summer opening at New York's Film Forum and a subsequent national release.
Ahead of its Venice premiere last year, world rights for Court were acquired by Paris-based Memento Films' art film label Artscope. The U.S. deal was negotiated by Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo at Zeitgeist with Tanja Meissner and Joachim Hecker at Memento. “We don't use the word 'amazing' too often, but there is no other way to describe this film and the amount of awards it has collected confirms that others feel the same way,” said Gerstman in a statement.

Zeitgeist's catalog also includes 2013's Indo-Canadian co-production Siddharth by director Richie Mehta.