New Video Acquires North American Rights To Danfung Dennis’ Acclaimed Documentary Feature, “HELL AND BACK AGAIN”


New Video Acquires North American Rights To Danfung Dennis’ Acclaimed Documentary Feature, “HELL AND BACK AGAIN”

Theatrical Release in October 2011 Precedes Digital, VOD and DVD distribution;

ITVS Partners for PBS’ “Independent Lens” Debut in 2012

Winner: Sundance 2011 World Cinema Grand Jury Prize & Cinematography Prize


“Devastating journalistic clarity…’Hell and Back Again’ is a vivid and moving testament to what’s really going on in Afghanistan.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Hard to shake…an extraordinary portrait of a tormented young war veteran.” – IndieWIRE

Monday, May 2, 2011 – New York, NY – Leading entertainment distributor New Video announced today that it has acquired North American rights to HELL AND BACK AGAIN, photojournalist Danfung Dennis’ Sundance-winning documentary feature debut, which intimately chronicles the life of an injured Marine returning home from Afghanistan to his wife and everyday existence. The deal was negotiated by VP of Acquisitions Mark Kashden on behalf of New Video and by Cinetic Media, and the film’s executive producers, Dan Cogan of Impact Partners and Karol Martesko-Fenster of Thought Engine, on behalf of the filmmakers.

“We are honored to release Danfung’s film, where so much courage is on display – from his breathtaking cinematography to soldiers on the frontline to Nathan and Ashley’s struggles at home,” said Kashden. “Our long-term, multi-platform release schedule ensures that the widest audience, particularly groups and communities most directly impacted at home by war overseas, will have an opportunity to experience this stunning achievement.”

In this groundbreaking work of cinema, two overlapping narratives are brilliantly intercut – the life of a Marine at war on the front, and the life of the same Marine in recovery at home – creating both a dreamlike quality and a strikingly realistic depiction of how Marines experience this war. HELL AND BACK AGAIN is the first feature film to be shot entirely on a customized Digital SLR camera rig with converted professional audio equipment, resulting in an intimate and visceral cinematic experience. The film is edited by Fiona Otway (editor of the Oscar®-nominated, Iraq in Fragments), with sound design by Danfung Dennis and J. Ralph (The Cove) and an original song performed by Willie Nelson (music and lyrics by J. Ralph).

New Video’s Docurama Films will premiere HELL AND BACK AGAIN in theaters in October 2011, after which the film will launch on digital and VOD platforms and DVD.  HELL AND BACK AGAIN will debut on television in 2012 on the PBS series “Independent Lens” through a partnership between the producers and ITVS.

In a statement from director Danfung Dennis and producers Mike Lerner and Martin Herring, the filmmakers said, “We are thrilled to be working with the team at New Video on the rollout of HELL AND BACK AGAIN across the United States and Canada.  We are confident that their multi-platform distribution expertise will thoroughly engage audiences in theaters, on digital platforms, Blu-ray and DVD. New Video’s willingness to collaborate closely with us and ITVS on the U.S. television premiere promises a consistent and impactful campaign for the film across all outlets.”

Independent Lens is very excited to partner on this transcendent film,” said Lois Vossen, Founding Series Producer.  “The film evolves from war expose into the story of one man’s personal apocalypse, and also underscores the price military families pay when soldiers resume civilian life. We look forward to presenting Hell and Back Again to millions of viewers through the Independent Lens Community Cinema outreach program and our spring 2012 broadcast.”

HELL AND BACK AGAIN is a Roast Beef Production presented by Impact Partners in association with Sabotage Films, Thought Engine and Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation; Mike Lerner and Martin Herring, producers; Dan Cogan, Karol Martesko-Fenster, Gernot Schaffler and Thomas Brunner, executive producers. HELL AND BACK AGAIN celebrated its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the World Cinema Jury Prize and Cinematography Prize. The film was an Official Selection of the 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the 2011 HOTDOCS Canadian International Documentary Festival.

About Nathan and Ashley Harris:
US Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris, 27, grew up in the small town of Yadkinville, North Carolina and married his high school sweetheart, Ashley, before his first of three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Decorated for his service, Nathan is now in the Wounded Warrior Regiment at Camp Lejeune recovering from a gunshot wound to the hip. Ashley is a veteran of supporting her husband and his difficult transition back home.

About Danfung Dennis:
Accredited as a photographer for The New York Times, Danfung Dennis was embedded in enemy Taliban territory in Southern Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment in 2009, where he met Sergeant Nathan Harris.

Since 2006, Dennis has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His still photographs have been published in Newsweek, TIME, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Le Figaro Magazine, Financial Times Magazine, Mother JonesDer Spiegel, and The Wall Street Journal.  PBS’s Frontline opened its 2009 fall feature program, “Obama’s War,” using Dennis’s footage. The immersive nature of the footage prompted a flurry of comment and inquiry from the Pentagon, the White House, veterans groups and viewers, and the program was nominated for a 2010 Emmy Award. In 2010, Danfung Dennis won the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents, was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and one of the “30 New and Emerging Photographers” by PDN Magazine. Danfung Dennis is the founder of an immersive video startup, Condition ONE.

About New Video:
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011, New Video is a leading entertainment distributor and the largest aggregator of independent digital content worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, with an international presence in 45 territories, the company delivers feature films, TV programs and web originals via digital download, streaming media, video-on-demand, Blu-ray and DVD. New Video streamlines the distribution and marketing process for filmmakers, producers and brand partners to bring a wide variety of fresh content to new audiences. The company’s library includes original TV series and movies from A&E®, HISTORY™, and Lifetime®, unforgettable games and trophy sets from Major League Baseball®, storybook treasures from Scholastic®, award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, Arthouse Films, and Plexifilm, next-gen indies and web hits from Flatiron Film Company® and festival picks from Tribeca Film. New Video is proud to distribute the 2011 Oscar®-nominated films Gasland, Waste Land and, on digital, Restrepo.

About ITVS
ITVS funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue, and provide for underserved audiences. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

For more information, please contact:
Sommer Hixson
Media Relations, New Video
(646) 644-1546; (646) 329-4534

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