Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced today the acquisition from HanWay Films of North American rights to Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard's inventive, lyrical ode to creativity, 20,000 Days On Earth, featuring musician and cultural icon Nick Cave. Fusing drama and reality by weaving the journey of a fictional day in Cave's life, the film is an intimate portrayal of the artistic process. The film made its World Premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded both "Best Directing" and "Best Editing" Awards in the World Cinema Documentary category and receives its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. It is the debut directorial feature film by visual artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard and is set to an original score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. 20,000 Days on Earth is a Pulse Films / JW Films production, produced by James Wilson and Dan Bowen with the support of Film4, Corniche Pictures & the BFI. A theatrical release is planned for 2014.
"I've always liked their unorthodox approach to things" says Cave, of the filmmakers. He invited Forsyth and Pollard to film the early stages of writing his 2013 album "Push The Sky Away". They knew it was an unmissable, unique opportunity and started filming, without a plan for what the footage might become. With unprecedented access they began to capture extraordinary moments of Cave's creative process. Next, Cave agreed to hand over his notebooks, which proved fertile ground for the filmmakers. "We were able to trace the transformation of his ideas," says Forsyth. "We found disparate phrases which instantly sparked ideas that excited us. This included a calculation to work out how many days he had been alive on the day they started recording the album, next to the unusually coined phrase '20,000 days on earth.'" Pollard adds, "We began to work with the idea of what makes us who we are and what we do with our time on earth." The phrase eventually spawned the opening line of the film and the pair resolved to structure the film around a fictional narrative of his 20,000th day.
The film thus far received high praise including Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.con who calls it "gorgeous and haunting…an unclassifiable and frequently spectacular documentary." Rob Nelson of Variety says "simply astounding, razor sharp, dynamic". And Michael Dunaway of Paste Magazine says, "just spending an hour and a half or so inside the mind of Nick Cave would be fascinating enough. But the themes of time and lifetime, and the 20,000-day take on it, make this one a must-see."
"Partnering with Drafthouse Films to release our first film in North America is a huge thrill for us. They release the kind of films we want to watch! Tim's passion for film is infectious and together with his team we know their vision will ensure '20,000 Days on Earth' reaches the widest possible audience" says Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard.
"I am among many who consider Nick Cave the unofficial poet laureate of the modern age," says Drafthouse Films founder Tim League. "While his music fans are already eagerly anticipating this release, I am personally excited to share this riveting portrait of a modern creative genius with a much wider audience."
Thorsten Schumacher Managing Director of HanWay Films said, "We're extremely excited to have found the perfect home for Jane, Iain and nick at our friends at Drafthouse. They'll ensure the perfect rollout for this amazing film".
The deal was negotiated by Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Thorsten Schumacher, Managing Director at Hanway Films on behalf of the producers.