Tribeca Drama ‘Asia’, With ‘Unorthodox’ Star Shira Haas, Scores North America Deal — Cannes

EXCLUSIVE: Menemsha Films has picked up North American rights to Tribeca Film Festival entry Asia, starring Unorthodox actress Shira Haas.

The Israeli drama, directed by Ruthy Pribar and co-starring Alena Yiv, is a mother-daughter story of a young, free-spirited single mother named (Yiv) and her daughter (the fast-rising Haas), who is coming of age and living with physical disabilities. Producers are Yoav Roeh and Aurit Zamir.

Menemsha finalized the deal for the film this week from Italian international sales company IntraMovies. The distributor is planning a North American theatrical premiere at New York’s Film Forum in winter 2020-2021.

The Hebrew and Russian-language film premiered as part of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival where it won awards for Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature (Haas), Best Cinematography (Daniella Nowitz) as well as the Nora Ephron Prize for Filmmaking (Pribar). The latter is a $25,000 prize awarded to a female writer or filmmaker “with a distinctive voice”.

The jury of the festival – including Danny Boyle and William Hurt – wrote about Haas: “Her face is a never-ending landscape in which even the tiniest expression is heartbreaking. She’s an incredibly honest and present actress who brings depth to everything she does.”

Neil Friedman of Menemsha Films stated: “This is not only a film starring internationally acclaimed Shira Haas, but a beautifully rendered film from Israeli filmmaker Ruthy Pribar. We have the highest expectations for the film’s theatrical success.”

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