One of the most acclaimed films on this year’s festival circuit has found a North American home. KimStim have acquired The Tsugua Diaries, Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes’ wistful, sunny antidote to lockdown blues that blurs the line between cinema and life. Gomes is the acclaimed Portuguese director of the Arabian Nights trilogy, Fazendeiro an accomplished documentary filmmaker who first collaborated with him as casting director for Arabian Nights. The cast of Tsugua Diaries includes Crista Alfaiate and Carloto Cotta, both of whom starred in Arabian Nights, as well as João Nunes Monteiro. 

The film, which KimStim will release in early 2022 in theaters, had its world premiere at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and screened at Karlovy Vary and TIFF, and will next make its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival as the opening night of Currents this Saturday, September 25. KimStim’s Ian Stimler negotiated the deal with Cologne-based The Match Factory’s Head of Sales Thania Dimitrakopoulou.

Soham Gadre said in our TIFF review, “Throughout The Tsugua Diaries we see a still shot of two fruit that change color, initially rotting, then in the ripe stage, and then un-ripened. Finally, we see how it was actually picked from the tree. This contextualizes the film in a way that its characters and creators are self-aware of their project and choose to use the fruit as a means of documenting and reminding themselves of the passing of days. This is perhaps the most relatable depiction and examination of life under COVID seen thus far in cinema––where the contrast between our sense of time and our lives tethered to it have been completely upended, but nature continues its march undeterred and unaffected.”

Ahead of its NYFF premiere and release early next year, see the new trailer below.

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