Documentary Takes an Intimate Look at the Life and Lovers of the Carol, Strangers on a Train, and The Talented Mr. Ripley Novelist
Gwendoline Christie Narrated Doc Opens Theatrically in September
“An intense and emotional, multiform voyage through the artistic and human world of one of the most fascinating writers in the global literary landscape…Vitija has managed to capture and make tangible the countless nuances of a being who was constantly battling her own demons.”
– Muriel del Don, CINEUROPA
Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber, two of the leading distribution companies for art-house and international films in the U.S., have acquired all North American rights to Eva Vitija’s Loving Highsmith, an intimate documentary portrait of the novelist Patricia Highsmith that casts new light on her life and oeuvre. Zeitgeist Films will release the film theatrically this September.
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s personal writings and accounts of her family and lovers, including newly published diaries and notebooks, Loving Highsmith made its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival and bows at the Frameline Film Festival later in June. Written and directed by Eva Vitija, the film is produced by Franziska Sonder and Maurizius Staerkle Drux, and co-produced by Carl-Ludwig Rettinger in co-production with Lichtblick Film, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, RSI Radio Televisione Svizzera, and ZDF/Arte.
Loving Highsmith is a unique look at the life of celebrated American author Patricia Highsmith, focusing on Highsmith’s quest for love and her troubled identity through her personal diaries and the intimate reflections of her lovers, friends and family. The film sheds new light on her life and writing, the best known of which were adapted for the big screen: Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Carol, a partially autobiographical novel and the first lesbian story with a happy ending in 1950s America. But Highsmith herself was forced to lead a double life and had to hide her vibrant love affairs from her family and the public, reflecting on the ever-present subject only in her unpublished writings. Beautifully interweaving archival material of Highsmith and her most famous adaptations with excerpts from her unpublished writing voiced by actress Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Loving Highsmith is a vivid, touching portrait of one of our most fascinating and complex writers.
The deal for Loving Highsmith was negotiated by Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo, Jason Ishikawa for Cinetic, and Salma Abdalla for Autlook.
“We've been wondering when someone was going to make a truly great documentary about Patricia Highsmith, one of the most original, complex, disturbing, fascinating writers (and people) of the 20th century. This is it and we can’t wait to bring it out in North America in September,” said Gerstman and Russo.
“I am very excited that Loving Highsmith has been selected by Zeitgeist and Kino Lorber for North American release. They have distributed some of my favorite quality documentaries by the greatest directors, and I hope that this will give Patricia Highsmith the recognition in her home country that she has always deserved!” said director Eva Vitija.
Salma Abdalla of Autlook added, “The great team of Zeitgeist offered a theatrical rollout for the newest biopic of Patricia Highsmith, which aligns with the release strategy of our distribution partners all over Europe and Asia. We are very much looking forward to seeing films released theatrically again.”
About Zeitgeist Films
Zeitgeist Films is a New York-based distribution company founded in 1988 which acquires and distributes the finest independent films from the U.S. and around the world. In 2017, Zeitgeist entered into a multi-year strategic alliance with renowned film distributor Kino Lorber.
Zeitgeist has distributed early films by such notable directors as Todd Haynes, Christopher Nolan, Francois Ozon, Olivier Assayas, Laura Poitras, Atom Egoyan and the Quay Brothers. Their catalog includes films from the world's most outstanding filmmakers including Margerethe Von Trotta, Ken Loach, Guy Maddin, Derek Jarman, Peter Greenaway, Yvonne Rainer, Andrei Zyvagintsev, Astra Taylor and Raoul Peck. Previous Zeitgeist Films releases in association with Kino Lorber include Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, Connie Hochman’s In Balanchine’s Classroom, Blerta Basholli’s Hive and most recently Daniel Raim’s Fiddler’s Journey To The Big Screen.
Five Zeitgeist films have been nominated for Academy Awards and one, Nowhere in Africa, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Their films have been honored by festivals throughout the world with Grand Prizes at Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Tribeca, and IDFA in Amsterdam. The Museum of Modern Art honored Zeitgeist with a month-long, 20th anniversary retrospective of their films in 2008.