EXCLUSIVE: Boutique distributor Juno Films has acquired North American and UK rights to Liv Ullmann: A Road Less Traveled, a portrait of the iconic Norwegian actress and filmmaker from director Dheeraj Akolkar (Liv & Ingmar). World premiering in the Classics section of the 76th Festival de Cannes, the doc will make its North American debut at DOC NYC ahead of a spring 2024 launch in theaters.
Best known as the muse and one-time romantic partner of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, Ullmann performed in films of his including Persona, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, The Passion of Anna, and Autumn Sonata, among others. She received an Honorary Oscar in 2022, after scoring noms for The Emigrants and Face to Face, and has also helmed titles like Faithless and the Jessica Chastain starrer Miss Julie. Alongside her career in the arts is a run in philanthropy that’s seen her serve as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, also co-founding and serving as honorary chair of the Women’s Refugee Commission.
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In her second doc with Akolkar, on the heels of 2012’s Liv & Ingmar, Ullmann offers reflections on her hopes, fears, grief, rejections, dreams pursued, and lessons learned. Her indomitable presence as an actor, writer, director, and activist is revealed through her own writings and the accounts of close friends and collaborators like Chastain, Cate Blanchett, Jeremy Irons, John Lithgow, and Sam Waterston.
The deal was negotiated between producer Hege Christensen for Teddy TV and Juno Films CEO Elizabeth Sheldon. Stated the latter, “Dheeraj’s film is a tribute to a woman who was an icon of the silver screen, who then went on to become a critically acclaimed director, and then a global ambassador on behalf of those who do not have a voice. We are thrilled to be working with Hege and Dheeraj to bring this film to audiences who will remember her from her early days on screen to her humanitarian work.”
Remarked Christensen, “We are very excited to work with Juno Films and for the opportunity to convey Liv Ullmann’s extraordinary work and life to a broad international audience.”
Said Akolkar in closing, “All of us who have made this film are deeply grateful to Liv Ullmann not only for her contribution to life and the arts but also for helping us explore the innermost layers of being human. We hope the film creates a space of relevance to reflect on what matters, and what must matter. We are very happy to work with Juno Films and looking forward to the North American and UK release of our film.”
Known for such critically acclaimed releases as The Most Beautiful Boy in the World and What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, Juno Films has more recently put out titles including Lasse Hallstrom’s Hilma and the Gaelic comedy Roise & Frank.
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