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Music Box Films Picks Up 'Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present' for U.S.

Submarine Entertainment will also distribute the documentary, which had its world premiere in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Marina Abramovic
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Music Box Films and Submarine Entertainment have partnered to distribute Matthew Akers' Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present in the U.S. The documentary had its world premiere in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January. The companies plan a June theatrical release to qualify for Academy Awards consideration shortly before its premiere on HBO.

A performance artist for nearly 40 years, Abramović is known for using her body as a medium to test her physical and mental limits. The film project was completed with full cooperation and access granted by Abramović and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Jeff Dupre and Maro Chermayeff produced. The film is a Show of Force Production in association with HBO Documentary Films. HBO's Sheila Nevins and Nancy Abraham are executive producers, as are Stanley Buchthal, Maja Hoffmann and David Koh for Dakota Group, Ltd.

“Marina Abramović has been an important art world presence for decades but, as the filmmakers reveal, she is a person whose life story and artistic practice lays claim on a wider audience's attention," said Music Box's Ed Arentz and William Schopf. "Marina is a protean force of nature, an ageless beauty, disarmingly down to earth with an uncanny sense of empathy and a presence and innate glamour that any movie star would envy. Viewers - particularly those not familiar with performance art - are in for a major discovery.”

The film won the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin film festival in February.

Koh, Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine negotiated the deal along with Buchthal on behalf of the filmmakers and Arentz and Schopf of Music Box. Submarine also has sold Australian and New Zealand rights to Madman Entertainment; Canadian rights to Films We Like; Russian, CIS and the Baltics rights to Volga Films; Italian rights to GA&A; Dutch TV rights to AVRO; Swedish TV rights to SVT; UK rights to Dogwoof; and the rest of the world to Dogwoof Global.

Music Box Films released the original Swedish film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of novels, starting with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Upcoming releases include The Deep Blue Sea and Monsieur Lazhar.