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'Dalai Lama' gets bigscreen release

April 5, 2008

Variety - Los Angeles
Fri., Apr. 4, 2008

LONDON — Joshua Dugdale’s access-all-areas observational portrait doc,
“The Unwinking Gaze: The Inside Story of the Dalai Lama’s Struggle for
Tibet,” will get a U.K. theatrical release on the upmarket indie
Picturehouse Cinemas circuit.

Release of timely “Gaze” at the end of May is the result of a new pact
between London-based doc distrib Mercury Media’s online doc initiative, the Picturehouse chain and national newspaper the

Under the deal, Picturehouse will debut a new Joiningthedots doc every
six weeks.

Joiningthedots launches April 15 with 60 docs available online for
download and streaming and plans to have more than 200 on the site in
the next six months.

Traffic will also be generated through promos in the print and online
editions of the Independent.

“Releasing the best films from the stable onto the big
screen was always an ambition we had hoped to realize,” said Mercury
Media’s topper Tim Sparke.

“To have achieved this in advance of our broadband launch is a vote of
confidence in the concept. The films chosen as part of
this initiative will premiere first theatrically before going into the
online, TV and DVD markets.”

“The power of Picturehouse's theatrical marketing expertise alongside
that which the Independent brings will provide an unprecedented
opportunity for talented filmmakers to reach out to a whole new
audience,” said Mark Allenby, head of marketing, Picturehouse.

“Gaze,” an 18-month labor of love for 33-year-old Brit documaker
Dugdale, shows Tibet’s spiritual and political leader both relaxing with
close confidantes and meeting world leaders.

“The issue of Tibet is of profound importance especially in the run up
to the Olympics. The power of this film to change hearts, minds and
attitudes in the West and in China will be augmented by its release
nationwide next month,” Dugdale said.
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