Zeitgeist takes on 'Act of God'

Deal will be unveiled at Hot Docs fest

TORONTO -- Zeitgeist Films has felt the electricity, grabbing U.S. distribution rights to Jennifer Baichwal's "Act of God," a documentary about being struck by lightning.

The deal is set to be unveiled Thursday when Baichwal's latest film opens the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

"Act of God," whose varied subjects include storm chasing and the worship of lightning gods, also features American novelist Paul Auster recounting how, as a teen, he witnessed lightning strike a friend.

The U.S. distribution deal will mark Baichwal's third project with Zeitgeist. The first was her 1999 documentary about the author Paul Bowles, "Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles." The second was "Manufacturing Landscapes," a 2006 portrait of Edward Burtynsky and his photographs of ecological damage in industrial China.

Mongrel Media will release "Act of God" in Canada shortly after its Hot Docs bow.

Baichwal's next documentary is an adaptationof Margaret Atwood's nonfiction book about debt for the National Film Board of Canada.
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