Dark Frames, a new distribution company dedicated to bringing high-quality, non-Bollywood Indian films to North American and international audiences through theatrical and digital channels, will release its first title, UNFREEDOM, on May 29, it was announced today by Dark Frames’ founder, Raj Amit Kumar. Veteran film marketer and distributor Mark Urman of Paladin is partnering with Dark Frames to lead the marketing and distribution of its release slate. Dark Frames will also partner with Film Buff to distribute UNFREEDOM at the same time on Cable VOD and other digital platforms.
UNFREEDOM juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman. The four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in battles of identity, sexuality, religion, love, and family. Written and directed by Kumar, the film stars Victor Banerjee (A Passage to India, Meherjaan), Bhanu Uday (Monsoon), Bhavani Lee, Preeti Gupta, Seema Rahmani (Good Night Good Morning, Loins of Punjab Presents), Ankur Vikal (Slumdog Millionaire, TV Series: “India”), Samrat Chakrabarti (Midnight’s Children, The Waiting City, Walkaway), and Adil Hussain (Life of Pi, Gangor, English Vinglish).
Recently, UNFREEDOM was banned in India, where homosexuality was criminalized in 2013, by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), rendering much of its content too controversial for general audiences. Kumar is mounting an appeal at the same time that he is launching a crowd-funding campaign to finance a release in India via alternative methods.
“UNFREEDOM represents the type of challenging socio-political film that Dark Frames will be bringing to theaters in the future,” said Raj Amit Kumar, who wrote and directed the feature. “Too many wonderful Indian independent films have gone unseen and I’m very proud to finally bring the best of these to audiences.”
Dark Frames previously acquired director Kamal K.M.’s acclaimed feature I.D. and will be announcing distribution plans for it shortly.