Los Angeles-based Menemsha Films has acquired North American rights from Italy’s Intramovies to Venice Critics’ Week title “Thou Shalt Not Hate,” ahead of the racial hatred-themed drama’s premiere Sunday on the Lido.
The film has also been picked up for Australia and New Zealand by Moving Story Entertainment.
Directed by Italian first-timer Mauro Mancini, “Thou Shalt Not Hate” (Non Odiare) stars Alessandro Gassman as Simone Segre, a renowned surgeon of Jewish origin who finds himself assisting a victim of a hit and run accident. When he discovers a Nazi tattoo on his chest, Segre abandons him to his destiny, but subsequently, the surgeon is filled with guilt, according to the film’s promotional materials.
Menemsha Films, a U.S. distributor of specialty titles such as British comedy “Dough,” is planning theatrical distribution of “Though Shalt Not Hate” in North America this fall/winter, Intra and Menemsha said in a joint statement.
Menemsha president Neil Friedman said he was impressed with the film “on a multitude of levels,” and noted that the drama “is a great accomplishment for a first-time director,” while also praising Gassman — who is the son of late great actor Vittorio Gassman — as “miraculous” in the lead role.
“The film works both as a morality tale and as cinema vérité,” Friedman added.
The plan for Menemsha is to present “Though Shalt Not Hate” after Venice in other film festivals, starting in October. The North American theatrical release date for the film will be predicated on when arthouse audiences in North America start returning to cinemas.
“Thou Shalt Not Hate” is co-produced by Mario Mazzarotto’s Movement Film with Rai Cinema, in association with Italian distributor Notorious Pictures, which will release the film in Italian cinemas on Sept. 10.