Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love (2008) - News Poster


Sundance ’15: Psihoyos, Ross Bros., Heineman & Marc Silver Among U.S. Documentary Competition Offerings

Last year, Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz TragosRich Hill walked away with U.S. Grand Jury Prize while Jesse MossThe Overnighters was perhaps the section’s most buzzed about film. The sixteen titles offerings for 2015 include a first docu offering from Bobcat Goldthwait, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare director Matthew Heineman, the return of Oscar winning director Morgan Neville (for Twenty Feet from Stardom) with Best of Enemies and the latest from Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love director E. Chai Vasarhelyi. Here are the sweet sixteen:

U.S. Documentary Competition

3½ Minutes / U.S.A. (Director: Marc Silver) — On November 23, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot at a Jacksonville gas station by Michael David Dunn. 3½ Minutes explores the aftermath of Jordan’s tragic death, the latent and often unseen effects of racism, and the contradictions of the American criminal justice system.

Being Evel / U.
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SXSW 2013 Review: ‘Touba’ Allows Us to Virtually Experience a Sacred Journey

SXSW is an interesting place to see Touba, which won a jury prize for cinematography at the film festival this week. I almost feel bad for thinking of the event in religious terms recently while spotlighting the Alamo Drafthouse as a place of worship many of us make a “pilgrimage” to at least once a year. Touba is in fact about the annual journey known as the Grand Magaal, which brings millions to the titular sacred city in Senegal for three days of thanksgiving. These legitimate pilgrims are Mourides, followers of an order of Sufism begun in the late 19th century by Amadou Bamba, a leader of Gandhi-like significance for his peaceful resistance against French colonial rule. Bamba also founded Touba as a holy site following a vision experienced there, and it’s grown to become a prominent urban center in Africa and the second largest city in the nation. It
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Indie Roundup: 'Away We Go,' Deals, Online Options, CineVegas

Before we look back at the past week, let's peak at what's opening this weekend: Francis Ford Coppola's family drama Tetro; Duncan Jones' sci-fi trip Moon; Daryl Wein's AIDS activist doc Sex Positive; Tommy Wirkola's Nazi zombie flick Dead Snow; Robert Kenner's appetizing (maybe) doc Food, Inc.; and Chai Vasarhelyi's music / tolerance plea Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love (poster and more info after the jump).

Box Office. Opening in four theaters, Sam Mendes' Away We Go scored a smashing $32,603 per-screen average last weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. The road trip comedy / drama, starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as anxious, expectant parents searching for a place to raise their family, far outpaced other debuting indies, which had, on their own terms, decent returns: Seraphine ($6,640 per-screen at four theaters), Unmistaken Child ($6,293, one screen), and 24 City ($6,082, one screen). Our critic William Goss feels
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Poster Exclusive: Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love

  • Those expecting a straight shooting documentary film where concert footage is the predominant characteristic might be terribly disappointed by Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love (2008)Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love
[/link]. I've managed to miss the film festival audience award winning doc at last year's Tiff but from what I gather, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's intimate look at the renowned pop singer from Senegal happens to be a testament to how one person's faith and artistic output (his Grammy winning 2004 album "Egypt") manages to be “embraced by Western audiences but ignited serious religious controversy in his homeland”. Shadow Distribution opens the doc in NY on 12th, in La on July 3rd, to be followed by a national rollout. Check out the trailer at and here's a first at the poster below (or click here to download hi res poster) ...
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Doc Filmmaker Wins First Amendment Suit

From the law firm Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein and Selz comes a press release announcing the New York State Court dismissal of case brought against doc filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love. It's great to see a filmmaker challenging such a seemingly frivolous lawsuit and winning. Excerpted from the press release: The film centers on the controversy surrounding Grammy-award winning musician Youssou Ndour's release of his acclaimed album "Egypt." Plaintiff, a former attorney for Mr. Ndour, appears briefly in archival footage taken at a press conference. “Vexatious right of publicity claims often hamstring documentary filmmakers,” said Jessie Beeber of Frankfurt Kurnit, the law firm that represented Ms....
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SXSW 09: Full lineup announced

SXSW is one of my favorite festivals of the year as it showcases some of the best and most innovative real independent films, and with this host of world premiers, it's also playing alot of Sundance material as well as genre fare from all over the world, many of which we've covered heavily in these pages.

From the Sundance lineup, we have films like Moon, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, You Won't Miss Me, Grace, and Humpday, among others.

For the world genre material we've covered, there's Lake Mungo, The Square, Zift, and Awaydays.

I think you get the point that lots of great looking film will be playing. I'll leave a bit of the exploration to you..

Lineup after the break.

Narrative Features Competition

Artois the Goat

Director: Kyle Bogart. Writer: Cliff and Kyle Bogart

Lab technician Virgil Gurdies embarks on an epic quest to craft the greatest
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Oscilloscope nabs right to 'Youssou Ndour'

Oscilloscope nabs right to 'Youssou Ndour'
New York - Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch will be introducing some U.S. moviegoers to a different kind of music: African pop.

Yauch's Oscilloscope Laboratories has nabbed domestic rights to the rockumentary "Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love," a portrait of the influential Senegalese musician.

Chai Vasarhelyi's film, set for an early Summer 2009 theatrical release in conjunction with Ndour's tour, covers two years in the life of the Muslim musician and controversy surrounding his songs about Islam. Oscilloscope's David Fenkel negotiated the deal with Celluloid Dreams' Bobby Allen and Hengameh Panahi.

Additionally, Regent Releasing hopes to sell audiences the the secret to happiness for just "$9.99." The distributor picked up North American rights to Tatia Rosenthal's stop-motion animated comedy. Geoffrey Rush and Anthony Lapaglia are among the voices who'll be heard when "$9.99," based on Etgar Keret's short stories, hits select U.S. theaters next spring. Regent's Mark Reinhart
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Youssou N'Dour Docu is Music to Oscilloscope's Ears

  • Who better a judge for the potential reach of a music-themed documentary than a musician-turned-distributor chief. Adam YauchAdam Yauch
[/link]'s Oscilloscope have picked up the U.S. rights to the Celluloid Dreams' title that recently won over audiences at Telluride and Tiff. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love covers the singer's last 20 years in the biz and digs into the singer's frustration over the negative perception of his Muslim faith and composed Egypt, a deeply spiritual album dedicated to a more tolerant view of Islam. It was a critical and career-defining moment. Ndour’s brave musical message was wholeheartedly embraced by Western audiences but ignited serious religious controversy in his homeland of Senegal. Variety reports that Oscilloscope is looking at a mid-2009 release. ...
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Rights RoundUP Toronto, Pusan and other Fall Festivals

Toronto International Film Festival acquisitions this year were sparse which was no surprise given the recent closings of the well funded specialty arms of the studios. The noticeable slowdown in the business at these large festival cum market events (e.g., Toronto) has continued since Cannes although Locarno was happily surprised at the increased number of acquisitions which took place there albeit by international sales agents rather than by distributors. At least it attests to some enthusiasm in what seems to be a lackluster low energy year for the film business. Venice[/link] also created some sales in spite of its never quite becoming the market it might be. Pusan was disappointing leaving buyers and sellers looking toward the upcoming Tokyo International Film Festival and AFM as the place where deals will close. The European sales agents did better selling to the Asian distributors than the Asian sales agents. Bavaria sold 'Into the Great Silence' to Jin Jin of South Korea. Celsius sold 'Vivaldi' to Mirovision for South Korea, and new international sales agent M-Appeal's Maren Kroymann sold 'Trick' to Coral for South Korea.

This is a sample of the Rights Roundup Reports available from For more information on acquisitions in the future you can purchase the Fall Festival and Market RightsRoundup and Rights Roundup Reports for AFM/ American Film Market, Berlin Film Festival and EFM/ European Film Market and Cannes Film Festival and Marche du Film after those events.

In Toronto, Fox Searchlight remained the strong buyer, picking up 'The Wrestler' for the highest sales figure of the market, but still less than $4,000,000 and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, the other hit of the festival. Summit, an A list international sales agent who entered the domestic distribution business this year also acquired ‘Hurt Locker' for U.S.. Both 'The Wrestler' and 'Hurt Locker' were packaged, financed and represented by CAA and both were significant in that only U.S. rights were acquired (without Canada) at a good high price. IFC Films continued its acquisitions activities for IFC in Theaters, its day and date distribution platform making independent films available to a national audience in theaters and on demand simultaneously, buying ‘Flame & Citron’, ‘Fear Me Not’, ‘Everlasting Moments’ and ‘Che’. Sony Pictures Classics was also active acquiring distribution rights to ‘Every Little Step: The Journey of a Chorus Line’, ‘Faubourg 36’ (aka ‘Paris 36’). The micro distributors such as Strand, Kino, Zeitgeist, Panorama, etc. continued business as usual, which generally means hanging back until there are no obvious offers for a film and then coming in with a modest proposal.

Here are the international sales agents whose sales (licensing of distribution rights on behalf of the producers) have been reported thus far:

Bavaria Film International licensed ‘Krabat’ to SPI for Poland and Romania and to Film Depot for Russia ahead of the first public screening. Strong interest is also reported from Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latin America, Japan and USA. ‘The Window’ (aka ‘La Ventana’) sold to Cinemien for Benelux, Imovison for Brazil. A deal with France is expected to close. ‘Cherry Blossoms’ went to Against Gravity for Poland. ‘Empty Nest’ has interest from U.S. as does ‘Restless’.

Celluloid Dreams has acquired all international sales rights to ‘Soul Power’ from Submarine Entertainment who was repping the film. There are offers in major territories soon to close. It also acquired ‘Youssou NDour: I Bring What I Love’ for world sales. Oscilloscope acquired it for U.S. ‘Birdwatchers’ sold to Artificial Eye for the U.K., Filmladen for Austria, Trigon for Switzerland, Pandora for Germany, Cinemien for Benelux, Hopscotch for Australia and New Zealand. ‘Mark Of An Angel’ has sold to Metrodome for the UK, Odeon for Greece, Seville for Canada, Xenix for Switzerland. Diaphana is about to gross $5m with its French theatrical release and Lumiere released in Belgium. ‘Achilles and the Tortoise’ sold to Odeon for France and Maywin for Russia.

Cinema Management Group has closed several territories on ‘The People Speak’ which screened 20 minutes in Toronto FF Special Screening. ‘Zambezia’, ‘Killer Bean Forever’ and ‘The People Speak’ went to Vision Film for Poland and to Film Pop for Turkey.

Elle Driver licensed ’35 Rhums’ to New Wave Films for the U.K.

Fandango Portobello licensed ‘Mid August Lunch' (aka'Pranzo di ferragosto’) to Le Pacte for France, Pandora for Germany, Cinemien for Benelux, Xenix for Switzerland, Filmladen for Austria.

Films Distribution licensed ‘Sea Wall’ to Axiom for the U.K.

Finecut licensed 'Daytime Drinking' to Japan's Eleven Arts who will release it in 30 North American cities. Fortissimo Films signed a six picture deal with Canadian distributor Maximum Films for ‘$9.99’, ‘Laila's Birthday’, ‘Country Wedding’, ‘Serbis’, ‘Native Dancer’, and ‘Tokyo Sonata’. ‘Disgrace’ also went to Maximum. ‘Every Little Step: The Journey of A Chorus Line’ went to Sony Pictures Classics for North America and Australia and New Zealand. ‘Serbis’ and 'Tokyo Sonata' went to Regent for North America.

Hanway Films licensed ‘Of Time and City’ to Strand Releasing for all U.S. rights. ‘Genova’ went to ThinkFilm for North America just before Toronto. Wanda acquired all rights for Spain.

Maximum licensed ‘Sugar‘ to Axiom for the U.K.

Momento licensed ‘Goodbye Solo’ to Imagine for Benelux, Axiom for the U.K. and Xenix for Switzerland. It also has offers from France, Portugal, Greece and Italy among others.

MK2 licensed ‘24 City’ to The Cinema Guild for U.S.

Pathe licensed ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ to Warner Bros. and Fox Searchlight for North America. ‘Faubourg 36’ (aka ‘Paris 36’) went to Sony Pictures Classics for U.S., Australasia, and Scandinavia just before Toronto.

Rai Trade licensed ‘Il Papa di Giovanna’ to Paradis for France, ABC for Benelux, Palace of Australia and New Zealand, MFD for Switzerland.

Roissy has licensed 'Seraphine' to Metrodome for U.K. and Ireland and to Rialto for Australia and New Zealand.

Sahamonkol licensed 'Chocolate' to Magnet for North America.

The Match Factory licensed ‘Flame & Citron’ to IFC Films for U.S. ‘Teza’ went to Trigon for Switzerland and Ripley’s Film for Italy.

TrustNordisk licensed ‘Fear Me Not’ and ‘Everlasting Moments’ and 'Heaven's Heart' to IFC Films for North America. Visit Films licensed five titles including ‘Hannah Takes The Stairs’, ‘LOL’, and ‘Kissing on The Mouth’, ‘Dance Party USA’ and ‘Quiet City’ to Beyond Entertainment for Australia/ New Zealand.

Voltage licensed ‘The Hurt Locker’ to Summit for U.S.

Wild Bunch licensed ‘Che’ to IFC Films. ‘Ponyo’ went to Lucky Red for Italy.

See also

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