May 18, 2024

Abramorama has acquired North American theatrical rights for Leslie Shampaine and Pip Gilmour‘s feature documentary “Call Me Dancer.”

The deal was revealed on the sidelines of TIFFCOM, the film market attached to the Tokyo International Film Festival.

The film follows Manish Chauhan, a young and talented street dancer from Mumbai who struggles against his parents’ insistence that he follow a traditional path. When he accidentally walks into an inner-city dance school and encounters curmudgeonly 70-year-old Israeli ballet master Yehuda Maor, a hunger develops within him and he is determined to make it as a professional dancer, but the odds are stacked against him.

Since its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February, “Call Me Dancer” has won audience awards at Berkshire International Film Festival, San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, Seattle. The film has also received the Art of Storytelling Award at Doc Edge Film Festival, New Zealand; the Youth Jury Award at DOKUart Festival in Croatia; and at the upcoming 2023 Hamptons Doc Fest, the Art & Inspiration Award.

Abramorama CEO and co-chair Karol Martesko-Fenster said, “Leslie and Pip, along with the ‘Call Me Dancer’ team have been able to craft a very entertaining and heartwarming film about a young man who pursues his passion vigorously against all odds. We are thrilled to be able to bring this joyride of mentorship, perseverance, and human spirit, that is resonating with audiences around the world, to the American public.”

Shampaine added: “This is a film about a dancer, by a dancer. But while making it, it became much bigger than that – it is about passion, determination, the love of an art form. Even when the stakes are high and the chance of succeeding small – whatever the outcome, it is about the joy of going there and aiming for it.”

Filmed in India, the U.K., Israel and the U.S. over five years, the film features two original songs by Jay Sean, who also executive produced, music by Bangladeshi American hip-hop artist Anik Khan and a score by British-Indian composer Nainita Desai and Nina Humphreys.

The film is a co-production with ZDF in association with Arte, produced by Priya Ramasubban, Cynthia Kane and Shampaine. Executive producers also include John Patrick King, Jitin Hingorani, Ori Z. Soltes, Diana Holtzberg and Esther van Messel.

“Call Me Dancer” is represented in the U.S. and Canada by East Village Entertainment and in the rest of the world by First Hand Films.

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