Kino Lorber to release Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux’s documentary ‘The Super 8 Years’

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Kino Lorber has acquired from Totem Films all North American distribution rights to the intimate archival documentary “The Super 8 Years,” directed by 2022 Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux and her son David Ernaux-Briot. [Kino Lorber photo]

Kino Lorber has acquired from Totem Films all North American distribution rights to the intimate archival documentary “The Super 8 Years,” directed by Annie Ernaux and her son, David Ernaux-Briot.

Ernaux is formally receiving the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature this weekend in Stockholm, Sweden.

Kino Lorber will release the film theatrically at Film at Lincoln Center and DCTV in New York on Dec. 16, followed by a digital release on Dec. 20.

One of France’s most respected contemporary writers, Ernaux’s intimate and autobiographical body of work captures the inner lives of women alongside societal and cultural changes in France from the 1960s onwards.

A natural extension of her literary work in its form and content, “The Super 8 Years” shows the pastimes, lifestyle and aspirations of a social class in post-1960s France through the lens of the Ernaux family archive.

“The Super 8 Years” made its world premiere at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight earlier this year and has since played prominently on the international festival circuit, including bows at the Busan, Rome, New York and Zurich Film Festivals.

Composed of silent Super 8 home video footage shot by Ernaux’s then-husband Philippe Ernaux, the film features pensive voiceover narration written and performed by Ernaux.

“The Super 8 Years is the directorial debut for Ernaux, whose autobiographical novel “L’Événement” was adapted last year into the critically acclaimed film “Happening.”

Compiled from home movie images shot between 1972 and 1981, the documentary is billed as a portrait of a time, place and moment of personal and political significance that takes viewers from holidays and family rituals in suburban bourgeois France to trips abroad in Albania and Egypt, Spain and the USSR.

The deal for “The Super 8 Years” was negotiated by Kino Lorber Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell and Totem Films, according to a news release.

“One of our finest contemporary memoirists, Annie Ernaux writes about life directly as she experiences it, capturing the texture of memory with introspective candor and unflagging wit alongside larger societal observations. ‘The Super 8 Years’ continues this tradition, with Annie’s own indelible voice bringing her most intimate family memories to life. We’re honored to partner with Annie and David to bring the story of their family to North American audiences,” said Lidell in a statement.

The author of some 20 works of fiction and memoir, Ernaux is considered by many to be France’s most important literary voice. She won the Prix Renaudot for “A Man’s Place” and the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her body of work. More recently, she received the International Strega Prize, the Prix Formentor, the French-American Translation Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for “The Years,” which was also short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize.

Her other works include “Exteriors,” “A Girl’s Story,” “A Woman’s Story,” “The Possession,” “Simple Passion,” “Happening,” “I Remain in Darkness,” “Shame,” “A Frozen Woman” and “A Man’s Place.”

Recently, two of her books were adapted into award-winning films: “Simple Passion” by Danielle Abrid (Cannes Label 2020) and “Happening” by Audrey Diwan (Venice Golden Lion 2021).

Born in 1968, Ernaux-Briot, Ernaux’s son and co-director, grew up in Annecy and later on Cergy-Pontoise. After studying science, he decided to focus on scientific journalism and contributed to specialized TV programs such as “E=M6” and “C’est pas Sorcier.” He wrote and directed the mini-series “Théâtre des Machines,” “Corpus,” “Art et Sport” for the platforms Universcience and CANOPE. “The Super 8 Years” is his first feature-length documentary.

-BAM

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