I'd actually completely forgotten about this film (although I'm sure I would've remembered it eventually, even without today's news). But I'm certainly glad that it's still very much *in play* after VICE picked it up following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it attracted plenty of critical acclaim, including winning the festival's prestigious Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic.
VICE has now announced that the global youth media company and content creation studio, has teamed up with Alamo Drafthouse and TUGG to release Cutter Hodierne's "Fishing Without Nets" in theaters across the country. VICE also announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment for home video platform releases of the film.
The feature, which tells the story of a young Somali lured into the world of piracy to support his family, will be available same day to own on Digital HD, as well as for rent on Video On Demand (VOD), and also in limited theatrical engagement - all simultaneously. A specific date will be announced later.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will work with VICE to market and distribute the film digitally. Alamo Drafthouse will oversee theater engagements in select markets, and TUGG will manage influencer and crowd sourced screenings across the country, including “VICE-Night” themed events in select cities.
Shot in East Africa with Kenyan actors of Somali descent, Hodierne's "Fishing Without Nets" tells the very well publicized "Somali Pirates" phenomenon, but specifically from the Somali point of view - something that other films on the subject rarely make an effort to acknowledge let alone conscientiously incorporate - making this one that much more worth paying attention to.
The film is an expansion of director Hodierne's short film of the same name which won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. His feature film debut, it combines action-thriller sensibilities with the intimate, textured qualities of an arthouse film, humanizing the pirates by bringing us inside their moral dilemmas and incredible struggles.
Director, Cutter Hodierne said: "I always wanted to make and release a film with a forward thinking digital media company. Making this movie has been the ultimate filmmaking experience for me and I'm so excited that this adventure story, told through the eyes of Somalis, will reach an even wider audience through this innovative distribution agreement."
"Fishing Without Nets is a rare opportunity to look inside the world of pirating in Somalia in a human story told with authenticity and humanity. Cutter is a remarkably talented young director with the ability to capture the real life drama behind the newspaper headlines," said VICE Chief Creative Officer and Executive Producer of the film Eddy Moretti. "This is exactly the kind of project VICE is excited to be involved in, and it's the first of a series of films VICE will produce and finance in the coming months."
“Fishing Without Nets is a unique and authentic approach to storytelling and exactly the sort of movie you would expect from the VICE team,” said Mary Daily, President, Worldwide Marketing, and Chief Marketing Officer, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “We are excited about working on the film and the many different ways we can market the movie to progressive and passionate audiences that are savvy to the emerging digital formats and platforms of today."
“We are thrilled to partner with VICE and Fishing Without Nets on this innovative initiative,” said Nicolas Gonda, CEO, Tugg. “We believe our core mission to engage, empower and entertain aligns perfectly with VICE’s audience of leaders and influencers, and we look forward to acting as the platform for communities across the country to collectively experience this powerful film on the big screen.”
VICE's Eddy Moretti and Shane Smith act as executive producers alongside Think Media Studios' Joe LoConti. Brian Glazen and Stephanie Pinola. WME Global assembled financing for the film and closed the North American deal. International is being handled by Altitude Film Sales.
The team who produced the original short—Raphael Swann, John Hibey, and Cutter Hodierne—returned as producers and partnered with Ben Freedman and Rupert Wyatt ("The Escapist," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes") of Picture Farm, along with Victor Shapiro.
Here's a first teaser trailer for "Fishing Without Nets;" and underneath are some images from the upcoming film.