NYC, NY - November 1, 2013 - Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and Cinedigm announced today the joint acquisition of North American rights to the documentary The Dog following its premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. The Dog chronicles the real-life story of John Wojtowicz, whose infamous attempted robbery of a Brooklyn bank to finance his male lover's sex-reassignment surgery was later immortalized by Al Pacino in the 1975 Oscar®-Nominated film Dog Day Afternoon. A theatrical and VOD release is planned for summer 2014.
After screening Dog Day Afternoon in 2001,curiosity struck directors Allison Berg and
Frank Keraudren, so they set out to locate the real man behind Pacino's iconic character and to hear his side of the story. An initial conversation with the very charismatic Wojtowicz lead to Berg and Keraudren spending the next 10 years with him amassing hours of interviews and a multitude of archival footage. The result is an immersive portrait of an eccentric nonconformist and his truth-is-stranger-than-fiction journey.
The film has earned high praise from its international festival screenings with Eric Kohn at Indiewire calling it, "a must-see documentary for fans of Dog Day Afternoon," and Daniel Pratt for Exclaim.ca praises the film as "one of the most remarkable retellings of someone's life caught on camera in recent years."
"The Dog was made over the course of a decade, but we knew it was something special from day one. The story was surreal, the characters unique. We wanted to let them be themselves and knew that audiences would feel that authenticity, as we did," says Directors Berg and Keraudren adding, "we're thrilled to be working with Drafthouse and Cinedigm. Their enthusiasm for the film combined with their expertise and forward-thinking approach to distribution is the best we could have hoped for, and we are very excited to be "unleashing" The Dog with them in 2014."
"Frank and Allison's comprehensive work is both a moving and hilarious one-of-a-kind portrait, serving as both a prequel and sequel to one of the greatest of all '70s American films," says Drafthouse Films Creative Director Evan Husney, "we are extremely excited for our favorite discovery from this year's Toronto International Film Festival to be our first acquisition with Cinedigm."
"We can't wait to share this film with both fans of DOG DAY AFTERNOON and anyone interested in knowing a man who was truly one of a kind," said Vincent Scordino, Cinedigm's SVP of Theatrical Releasing, "Allison & Frank have expertly captured the energy of 1970's New York in this thoroughly entertaining portrait of an unapologetic man who lived out loud and found himself at the forefront of a pivotal time in the gay rights movement. We're thrilled to make it our first joint release with Drafthouse.
The deal was negotiated by Emily Rothschild on behalf of Cinedigm, James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.
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About The Dog (TIFF Program Guide)
John Wojtowicz took pride in being a pervert. Coming of age in the 1960s, his libido was excessive even by the libertine standards of the era, with multiple wives and lovers, both women and men. In August 1972, he attempted to rob a Brooklyn bank to finance his lover's sex-reassignment surgery. The act resulted in a fourteen-hour hostage situation that was broadcast on TV. Three years later Al Pacino portrayed his crime in Dog Day Afternoon. The film had a profound influence on Wojtowicz (who pronounced his name "Woto-wits"). When he emerged from a 6 prison term, he was known as "The Dog."
Directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren began filming The Dog in 2002. Their long-term dedication pays off in this unforgettable portrait capturing all of the subject's complexity: he is, by turns, lovable, maniacal, heroic, and self-destructive. To call him larger than life feels like an understatement.
Drawing upon extraordinary archival footage, the film shuffles between the 1970s and the 2000s. We gain a historic perspective on New York's gay liberation movement, in which Wojtowicz played an active role. In later footage, he remains a subversive force, backed by the unconditional love of his mother Terry, whose wit and charm infuse the film. How and why the bank robbery took place is recounted in gripping detail by Wojtowicz and various eyewitnesses.
Cinedigm is the leading independent content distributor in the United States, with direct relationships with over 60,000 physical and digital retailers, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon. The company's library of over 32,000 titles and episodes encompasses award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, next-gen Indies from Flatiron Film Company®, acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Films and a wide range of content from brand name suppliers, including National Geographic, Discovery, Scholastic, WWE, NFL, Shout Factory, Hallmark, Jim Henson and more. Cinedigm proudly distributes numerous Oscar®-nominated films, including The Invisible War, Hell and Back Again, GasLand, Waste Land and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory; current and upcoming theatrical releases include Destin Daniel Cretton's highly acclaimed Short Term 12, Godfrey Reggio's Visitors, Penny Lane's Our Nixon and Shaul Schwarz's Narco Cultura.
CinedigmTM and Cinedigm Digital Cinema CorpTM are trademarks of Cinedigm Corp www.cinedigm.com. [CIDM-G]
About Drafthouse Films
Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the earnestly simple motto of "sharing the films we love with widest audience possible," Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions which was named of Time Magazine's "Top 10 Films Of The Year." The 2012 release slate includes the acclaimed Best Foreign Language Oscar®) Bullhead, the internationally celebrated Danish comedy Klown (currently slated for a Warner Bros/Todd Phillips produced US remake), Cannes Film Festival 2013 Official Selection Nothing Bad Can Happen, the 40th anniversary restoration of landmark Australian thriller Wake In Fright, the Werner Herzog/Errol Morris produced documentary The Act Of Killing and British auteur Ben Wheatley's psychedelic trip into magic and madness A Field In England. Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically, through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms integrating into the ever-growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment lifestyle brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: Mondo, the collectible art boutique; Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US; and the pop culture website Badass Digest.