23 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Warner Independent Pictures has acquired North American and U.K. rights to Paradise Now, the controversial drama from Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad that tracks the final 48 hours in the lives of two Palestinian suicide bombers, WIP president Mark Gill said Tuesday. The deal was negotiated by Paul Federbush, WIP's senior vp production and acquisitions, and by Hengameh Panahi and Charlotte Mickie of sales agent Celluloid Dreams on behalf of the filmmakers. The film, co-written by Abu-Assad and co-producer Bero Beyer of Augustus Film, bowed last week at the Berlin International Film Festival amid protesters who objected to the humanization of Palestinian suicide bombers. The film went on to win the AGICOA'sBlue Angel Award for the best European film, the Amnesty International Film Prize and the Berliner Morgenpost Readers' Prize.


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