Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Agnieszka Holland’s Migrant Thriller 'Green Border'

By Kino Lorber | November 21, 2023
Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Agnieszka Holland’s Migrant Thriller 'Green Border'
“Bruisingly powerful… a heart-in-mouth thriller set on the Polish-Belarusian border that wraps its social critique in the razor wire of punchy, intelligent cinematic craft.”
– Jessica Kiang, Variety
“Profoundly moving, flawlessly executed… if cinema is an empathy machine, to paraphrase the late Roger Ebert, then Agnieszka Holland‘s new film is one precision-tooled specimen.”
– Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
“There has been no shortage of films that deal with Europe’s current refugee crisis over the last decade or so. Still, this picture, with its supremely confident handling of a fractured, fragmented structure and its twin driving forces of compassion and fury, 
is undoubtedly one of the best.”
– Wendy Ide, Screen International
Kino Lorber has acquired North American distribution rights to Green Border, a fierce and compassionate engagement with Europe’s refugee crisis directed by Academy Award-nominee Agnieszka Holland. The film has received widespread critical acclaim since its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it won seven awards including the Special Jury Prize, and has continued to screen widely on the international festival circuit including bows at TIFF, New York Film Festival, and AFI Fest; most recently, it was nominated for three European Film Awards including Best European Film. Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release in 2024, followed by a home video, educational, and digital release on all major platforms. 
In the treacherous and swampy forests that make up the so-called “green border” between Belarus and Poland, refugees from the Middle East and Africa trying to reach the European Union are trapped in a geopolitical crisis cynically engineered by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. In an attempt to provoke Europe, refugees are lured to the border by propaganda promising easy passage to the EU. Finding themself pawns in this hidden war, the lives of Julia, a newly minted activist who has given up her comfortable life, Jan, a young border guard, and a Syrian family intertwine. Thirty years after her Oscar-nominated film Europa Europa, Agnieszka Holland’s urgent and essential Green Border opens our eyes and speaks to the heart, challenging viewers to reflect on the moral choices that fall to ordinary people every day.
Directed by Agnieszka Holland in collaboration with Kamila Tarabura and Katarzyna Warzecha and written by Holland, Maciej Pisuk, and Gabriela Łazarkiewicz-Sieczko, Green Border has been the subject of controversy in Holland’s native Poland since its premiere, receiving attacks from right-wing political groups and Polish government officials for its message of empathy towards migrants trapped by Europe’s refugee crisis. Holland and the production team have spoken out against the messages of hate, continuing to urge audiences to not look away from the ongoing humanitarian crisis and to resist the dehumanizing narrative spread by government authorities. 
The North American deal for Green Border was negotiated by Kino Lorber Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell and Julien Razafindranaly for Films Boutique. In the United Kingdom, Green Border will be released by Modern Films, who will back the film for the European Film Awards and the BAFTAs.
Green Border is immersive filmmaking at its most impactful, a cinematic tour de force that has humanized the tragic plight of refugees clamoring to get into Europe for audiences at dozens of film festivals worldwide since its Venice premiere. There have been other films about the migrant crisis, but none that so viscerally captures the ground truth of what people will endure to escape untenable circumstances. I was riveted from the first moments to the last. Agnieszka Holland has delivered a cri de coeur that will resonate around the world for years to come,” said Wendy Lidell, SVP of Theatrical Distribution and Acquisitions for Kino Lorber. 
“Agnieszka Holland has crafted an important and timely film that is simply great cinema. We are pleased to partner with Kino Lorber and Modern Films to bring Green Border to theaters in the US and UK. They appreciate great cinema; we are in good hands,” said producer Fred Bernstein, President of Astute Films. 
“We're thrilled to have found the perfect partners for the US and UK releases of Green Border in Kino Lorber and Modern Films, both leaders in independent art house distribution who champion diverse, distinctive, impactful and contemporary stories for audiences on both sides of the Atlantic,” added Mike Downey, executive producer and chair of the European Film Academy. “Richard Lorber and Eve Gabereau are award-winning distributors who count some of the greatest filmmakers in world cinema among their eclectic repertoires, and Agnieszka Holland is a name that can be added to, and enhance that list.”
The acquisition of Green Border is the latest high-profile move in a busy fall for Kino Lorber: Kaouther Ben Hania’s Cannes-winning documentary Four Daughters, selected as the Tunisian entry for the 96th Academy Awards and nominated for Best Documentary at the Gotham Awards, is now playing in theaters, and Kino recently announced the launch of subscription streaming service Kino Film Collection, which features new releases and restorations plus curated favorites from the Kino Lorber library. 

Green Border is a Metro Films production in association with Astute Films in co-production with Blick Prod., Marlene Film Prod., Beluga Tree, Canal+ Poland, dFlights, Czech Television, Mazovia Warsaw Film Fund. The film is produced by Holland, Marcin Wierzchosłąwski, and Fred Bernstein and executive produced by Mike Downey, Jeff Field, Emir Külal Haznevi, and Daniel Bergman with the support of Czech Film Fund, Aide aux cinémas du monde, CNC - Institut Français.