108 Media and Paladin have acquired worldwide distributions rights to "Valley of Saints," a Kashmiri-language film that won a pair of awards at Sundance in 2012.
Musa Syeed's film follows Gulzar, a young man who earns his living by ferrying tourists around Dal Lake in Kashmir. Gulzar has never left his isolated village, but as he plans his escape with a friend a new curfew inhibits travel from one of the world's most politically polarized regions.
Asifa, a young scientist, then hires Gulzar to ferry her around the lake, earning his affection and changing his view of the world.
In addition to winning the Audience Award for an international dramatic film at Sundance in 2012, it will compete for Best Cinematography at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards,
"I fell in love with this film at Sundance last year and now that we have our worldwide distribution operation up and running, we are finally able to give it the home that it deserves," 108 Media CEO Abhi Rostogi said in a statement. "What Mark will do for the film in the U.S. will greatly enhance the film's profile around the world."
This film will fall under a joint distribution agreement the two companies entered last August and is the third movie they have jointly acquired. They purchased Michel Gondry's "The We and I" and Deepa Mehta's adaptation of Salman Rushdie's "Midnight Children" last September. Both will open in the next few months.
Paladin and 108 Media will sell international rights to "Valley of Saints" beginning at the European Film Market next month and will distribute the film in North America this month.
"'Valley of Saints' is an exquisite film that feels like the work of a master despite the fact that Musa is only his in his 20's!," Mark Urman, president of Paladin, said in a statement. "I am exceedingly proud to assist at the birth of what I predict will be a spectacular career."