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.