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Sundance 2013: 108 Media/Paladin Picks Up 2012 Festival Hit 'Valley of Saints'

The partnership has acquired worldwide rights to the Kashmir-set film, which was one of the most lauded at last year's festival.

Valley of Saints

More than a year after it screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Musa Syeed's Valley of Saints has been picked up by 108 Media/Paladin.

The partnership has acquired worldwide rights to the film, which was one of the most lauded at last year's festival.

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Valley of Saints premiered in the World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2012, where it garnered both the Audience Award for best film as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize for best exploration of math, science and technology and has since gone on to screen at more than 50 major domestic and international festivals. Most recently, the film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best cinematography.

108 Media will begin selling foreign rights to Valley of Saints at next month's European Film Market in Berlin, with plans to release the film in North America in the summer.

Set on Dal Lake in Kashmir, one of the world's most idyllic settings despite the area's political unrest, Valley of Saints centers on Gulzar (Gulzar Ahmet Baht), a young man who earns his living ferrying tourists around the lake but who himself has never left his remote village. When he makes plans to flee to the big city, a sudden curfew suspends all travel, and he is trapped, literally as well as figuratively, at the lake. When a beautiful young scientist, Asifa (Neelofar Hamid), arrives to study the creeping effects of pollution on the local waters, she hires Gulzar to transport her. Seeing his world through the eyes of an outsider for the first time, his vision of himself, his community and their respective prospects for the future is forever transformed.

Valley of Saints was produced by Nicholas Bruckman's New York-based production company, People's Television.

Since forming its partnership with Paladin in the summer, 108 Media has acquired Michel Gondry's The We and the I, which opens March 8 in New York, and the Salman Rushdie-Deepa Mehta collaboration Midnight's Children, which will open in late April.

Traction Media represented the filmmakers. Abhi Rastogi, Mark Urman and Nathaniel Warsh negotiated on behalf of 108 Media/Paladin.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27