Less than six months after her renowned debut feature, “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing,” received a 4K restoration and new theatrical run, there’s word that several other early titles from pioneering filmmaker Patricia Rozema are set for their own restoration and distribution. As Deadline reports, the Montreal-based Film Associates International has brokered deals for Rozema’s second and third films, “White Room” (1990) and “When Night Is Falling” (1995), as well as her most recent feature, 2018’s “Mouthpiece.”
Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights for “White Room” and “When Night Is Falling” and U.S. rights for “Mouthpiece.” MUBI will also hold the streaming rights to “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing” for a year, “making it available in more than 230 territories worldwide as a double-bill with ‘Mouthpiece.’”
“Regarded as a classic in the LGBTQ+ cinema canon, the lesbian love story ‘When Night Is Falling’ revolves around a literature professor in a religious college, in a relationship with a male colleague, who embarks on a passionate affair with a female circus performer,” the source writes. “Following its debut at the Berlinale in 1995, its North American release prompted unexpected controversy after Canada’s ‘The Globe and Mail’ dropped an advertisement for the film showing two women kissing, and in the U.S. the Motion Picture Assn. of America applied an NC-17 rating.”
“White Room” follows a flailing young man who teams up with an artist to solve the murder of a rock star. As for “Mouthpiece,” Rozema herself summed it up as: “Lena Dunham meets Charlie Kaufman. A grown-up ‘Inside Out.’ A fierce millennial woman is radicalized upon the sudden death of her mother.”
Other Rozema film deals include Salzgeber & Co. obtaining German, Austrian, and Swiss rights to “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing” and “When Night Is Falling,” and Bulldog Films’ planned distribution of “Mouthpiece” in the U.K.
Kino Lorber is also set to release the Cannes award winner “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing” on Blu-ray September 13. Its extras will feature new commentary from Rozema, a conversation between Rozema and artist Laurie Anderson, and several of Rozema’s short films. Additionally, “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing” was recently added to the Criterion Channel.
“A bracingly innovative and trailblazing artist, Patricia Rozema stands apart as one of the foremost independent filmmakers of her generation,” said Richard Lorber, President & CEO of Kino Lorber. “Her nimble, intelligent filmmaking celebrates the rich inner lives of women and queer people, and her wide-ranging oeuvre remains every bit as relevant today as upon original release.” He continued, “Kino Lorber was honored to release the 4K restoration of ‘I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing’ earlier this year and introduce a new generation of cinephiles to Patricia’s work. With this latest partnership, we couldn’t be more thrilled to share more of her boldly inventive and richly charming films with audiences across the United States and Canada.”
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Rozema’s other directing credits include “Into the Forest,” “Mansfield Park,” and episodes of “Sex/Life,” “Anne with an E,” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” She will head TIFF 2022’s Platform jury.
“Dare to be very personal,” Rozema advised women filmmakers, in an interview with Women and Hollywood. “That doesn’t necessarily mean very autobiographical, just personal: make sure the emotions come from the most dangerously honest part of yourself. If you aren’t feeling it, nobody will.”