Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Russian Nature Documentary ‘Aquarela’

Victor Kossakovsky film is planned for a 2019 release

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American rights from Participant Media to “Aquarela,” a Russian nature documentary that premiered at the Venice International Film Festival.

SPC also picked up all rights in Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Scandinavia, South Africa, and India to the film and with plans for a 2019 release.

Russian director Victor Kossakovsky’s film looks at the transformative beauty and raw power of water. Water itself is the main character in the film, with Kossakovsky traveling between Russia’s Lake Baikal to Angels Falls in Venezuela and Miami during Hurricane Irma.

The film is also shot at a rare 96 frames-per-second as a means of capturing water’s force and visceral feeling in striking visual detail.

“For me, ‘Aquarela’ represents a personal journey that encapsulates every possible emotion – from joy and ecstasy to angst and awe – providing a unique lens that allows audiences to develop a deeper connection to the beauty and power of water in all its forms,” Kossakovsky said in a statement. “I am deeply grateful and excited to be working with Sony Classics; their track record for bringing thought-provoking and inspiring films like ‘Aquarela’ is unparalleled.”

The film reunites Michael Barker and Tom Bernard with Participant Media after having previously collaborated on last year’s Best Foreign Language Film winner at the Oscars, “A Fantastic Woman.” They also collaborated on documentaries “Merchants of Doubt,” “Standing Operating Procedure” “Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains.”

The film is presented by Sony Pictures Classics and Participant Media together with Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Creative Scotland, BFI, Deutscher Filmförderfonds – DFFF, Medienboard Berlin – Brandenburg and Danish Film Institute, in association with Cactus World Films, Film, Aconite and Danish Documentary production, in co-production with Louverture Films and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg in association with ARTE and Rio Negro Producciones and Ánorâk Film. “Aquarela” received additional financial support from Sundance Film Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, The Government of Greenland, Eurimages and RBB TV. Endeavor Content and Lionsgate International are handling international sales.

“Aquarela” is a UK, German and Danish production, directed by Kossakovsky, produced by Aimara Reques, Heino Deckert and Sigrid Dyekjær, and co-produced by Joslyn Barnes, Susan Rockefeller, Emile Hertling Péronard. Executive Producers include Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Mark Thomas, Isabel Davis, Sawsan Asfari, Maya Sanbar, Madge Bray, Matthias Ehrenberg and Frank Lehmann.

The deal was negotiated between Sony Pictures Classics and Endeavor Content on behalf of Participant Media.