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Sundance: HBO Documentary Films Acquires US TV Rights to 'Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood January 21, 2013 at 2:45PM

HBO Documentary Films has picked up US television rights to "Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer" at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, had its world premiere in Park City on January 18.
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Nadia Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot
Nadia Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

HBO Documentary Films has picked up US television rights to "Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer" at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, had its world premiere in Park City on January 18.

The documentary tells the story of Nadia Tolokonniokova, Masha Alyokhina and Katya Samutsevich, members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot who performed a 40-second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral wearing colored balaclavas, tights and summer dresses. The women were arrested on charges of religious hatred. Their "show" trial, which began in July 2012, has reverberated around the world. While Nadia and Masha remain imprisoned, Katya has been released and participated in a Skype Q&A following the film's Sundance debut.

THR states in their review, "Despite some shortcomings, 'Pussy Riot' remains a significant contribution to the ongoing dialogue assessing the current state of Russian society and culture, as well as the sometimes tenuous status of free speech in the free world."

No word yet on an HBO air date.

This article is related to: News, HBO Films, Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, Sundance Film Festival, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.