March 2, 2024

MetFilm Sales has picked up worldwide rights (excluding U.K.) and will handle international sales on acclaimed documentary “Name Me Lawand” from “Gangs of London” producer Pulse Films.

Directed by Edward Lovelace (“The Possibilities Are Endless”), the documentary, filmed over four years, follows Lawand Hamad Amin, who spent his early years in Iraq unable to hear or communicate. His profound deafness meant he could not learn language, and with no access to a deaf education, Lawand grew isolated and trapped inside himself.

His parents and brother decided to take Lawand on an epic and bewildering journey across Europe to seek refuge in England. At a specialist deaf school in Derby, Lawand starts learning British Sign Language. For the first time in his life he begins to understand the world around him. In order to overcome what he’s been through, he will need to articulate who Lawand really is.

When the family faces the prospect of being deported from the U.K., it is Lawand who has to stand up in court and communicate why they need to stay. The languages in the film are English, Kurdish and British Sign Language.

The film had its world premiere at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival. It received the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs 2023 and is currently playing on the international festival circuit. BFI Distribution previously acquired rights for the U.K., where it is currently screening in cinemas. It is nominated in the best single documentary – domestic category at this year’s Grierson Awards.

MetFilm Sales is introducing the film to the market in time for international Deaf Awareness Month.

“Name Me Lawand” is a Pulse Films production made with support from BFI Doc Society Fund and Electric Shadow Company. It is produced by Fleur Nieddu, Edward Lovelace, Sam Arnold, Beyan Taher, Neil Andrews and Marisa Clifford. Executive producers are Thomas Benski, Tim O’Shea, Diene Petterle, Lisa Marie Russo, Kwesi Dickson and Isabel Freer.

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