EXCLUSIVE: Arthouse streamer and cinema distributor MUBI has acquired all rights to the Sundance documentary Faya Dayi in Great Britain and Ireland, Latin America, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey and India.
Jessica Beshir’s directorial debut goes on a trip to the highlands of Harar, Ethiopia, to observe the rituals of khat, a powerful plant that Sufi Muslims chewed for religious meditations – and which is Ethiopia’s most lucrative harvest today. Through the prism of the khat trade, the film records the stories of people caught between violent government repression, khat-induced fantasies, and dangerous journeys across borders.
Faya Dayi will also appear at Visions du Réel, the Hot Docs Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival this month. Brooklyn-based Mexican-Ethiopian filmmaker Beshir is also producing the feature.
Janus Films acquires North American rights to “Faya Dayi”, “Gorgeously Cinematic” Doc from director Jessica Beshir
Cinetic Media handles the sale of international rights and the deal was negotiated by Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.
Beshir is a recipient of the Sundance Documentary Film Fellowship, Jerome Foundation, Doha Film Institute, and NYSCA Artist Fellowships. Her short films have been shown at festivals and museums around the world, including the Rotterdam Film Festival, Hot Docs, IDFA, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Museum of the Moving Image NY and the Eye Film Museum Amsterdam.
Upcoming multi-territories MUBI Releases include Chloe Zhao’s debut film Songs My Brothers Taught Me on April 9, Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby on June 11, Sweat From Magnus von Horn, Dash Shaw’s Cryptozoo, Andreas Fontana’s Berlinale title Azor, and What Do You See When You Look The sky by Alexandre Koberidze. MUBI recently acquired all rights in the UK, Ireland and Turkey to Celine Sciamma’s latest feature film, Petite Maman, and plans to hit theaters in all territories. The buyer also announced this week that it will be releasing Sergei Loznitsa’s state funeral in select US cinemas on May 7th.