The film was shot with largely unknown actors in the Congo
Tribeca Film has acquired U.S. rights to War Witch (Rebelle), a drama about child soldiers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"War Witch" tells the story of Komona, a young girl who was kidnapped by African rebels at the age of 12. If that's not brutal enough, she was also forced at gunpoint to slaughter her own parents and fight against the government in the jungles.
The film was directed by Kim Nguyen and shot in the Congo with a cast of unknown actors such as star Rachel Mwanza, a newcomer who was discovered on the streets of Kinshasa.
Critics praised the acting novice's performance, as well as the film's cinematography and direction.
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"As a consequence of its discretion, 'War Witch' has perhaps better-than-usual commercial prospects for a pic on this subject," Leslie Felperin wrote in Variety. "Along with the moral lesson, Nguyen remembers to give auds some pleasures, including the exquisitely chosen soundtrack of African folk and pop music, Nicolas Bolduc's cinematography and the very artful use of sound throughout."
Mwanza won the Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film took home the Founders Award for best narrative feature at Tribeca, where it made its North American premiere.
Tribeca Film plans to release the film in early 2013.
"War Witch" was produced by Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin of Montreal-based ITEM 7.
The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Nick Savva, director of acquisitions, and on behalf of the filmmakers by Nicolas Brigaud-Robert from Films Distribution in Paris.