US firm buys rights to Charlie Hebdo documentary

[BERLIN] A film distributor has bought the US rights to a documentary about Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the deadly attacks at the French satirical weekly, its French sales company said Tuesday.

"We sold the film to American distributor Kino Lorber," said Eric Lagesse, president of Pyramide, which holds the rights to the 2008 documentary entitled "It's Hard Being Loved By Jerks" after the caption of one of the magazine's most popular cartoons.

Mr Lagesse was speaking to AFP on the sidelines of the Berlin film festival and confirmed a report in US movie industry magazine Variety.

The film by Daniel Leconte championed freedom of expression against attempts at the time by Muslim activists to censor caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

It deals with a bitter legal battle by the editor of a French weekly who was acquitted in 2007 on charges of offending Muslims for reprinting the cartoons.

The landmark trial was seen as an important test for freedom of speech in France, after the publication of the "blasphemous" caricatures sparked violent protests by Muslims worldwide.

Lagesse said he thought the film, which received only limited attention in France, could do well on the university and arthouse cinema circuit in the United States.

"We are also in talks with the Swiss, the Italians and the Germans," he added.

In France, the film was re-released in around 100 French cities and towns and on DVD after the January 7 shootings by jihadists at the magazine's offices which claimed 12 lives.


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