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Shout! Studios Secures North American Rights To Timely Documentary REFUGE From levelFILM, Katie Couric Media, And Artemis Rising Foundation

Image courtesy of Tomesha Faxio

Shout! Studios, the multi-platform entertainment distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory has acquired North American rights to the new documentary feature REFUGE from levelFILM. The announcement comes on the heels of the film’s successful festival plays and many accolades. Recent festival award wins, including the Audience Award for Best Feature at Atlanta Film Festival, the Standing Up Award at Cleveland International Film Festival, Impact Award at Boulder International Film Festival, Director’s Choice award for Best Documentary at Sedona Film Festival, and Special Mention at DOC NYC. The announcement was made today by Jordan Fields, Shout’s Vice President of Acquisitions, and David Hudakoc, managing partner at levelFILM.

Produced and Directed by award-winning filmmakers Erin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship, REFUGE is a powerful story about fear and love in the American South and provides an enthralling exploration of hatred, its origins, and the means of healing. A production of Katie Couric Media and Artemis Rising Foundation, REFUGE is executive produced by Katie Couric, Regina K. Scully, Patty Quillin, Sabrina Merage Naim, Geralyn Dreyfous, Pat Mitchell, Brenda Robinson, Caroline Tucker, Common Pictures, More Productions, Mary Beth Minnis, Emmanuel Jal, Stephen Nemeth, and Betsy Stahl.

Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America to REFUGE, including digital, video-on-demand, broadcast, theatrical, and home entertainment rights for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios plans a strategic launch of this movie day-and-date in cinemas and across all major digital entertainment platforms early next year.

"We are so thrilled to partner with the team at Shout! Studios in the release of our film. We have witnessed their thoughtful and intentional distribution of many beloved movies and TV shows, and we know that our film is in capable hands with them. We can't wait to launch our film into the world with this passionate and experienced team," stated Erin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship.

Refuge is a stirring and inspiring blueprint for the healing of America – a story of two unlikely friends who transform their pain into compassion and understanding rather than division and violence. It’s a message that speaks to our deepest core value here, and we are honored to send it into a world that sorely needs it,” stated Jordan Fields, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Originals at Shout! Studios.

The movie deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jordan Fields and David Hudakoc and Robin Smith of levelFILM on behalf of the filmmakers.

REFUGE | Movie Synopsis

A leader in a white nationalist hate group finds healing from the people he once hated - a Muslim heart doctor and his town of refugees. Chris is a husband and father, a veteran, and until recently, a leader in the KKK. He started hating Muslims when the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11, but is forced to confront his hate when he receives a text from Muslim refugee, Heval. REFUGE illustrates the false promises of hate and reveals where real and lasting refuge is found. Where there is love, there is refuge.

REFUGE is set in the most diverse square mile in America - Clarkston, Georgia - and follows a Syrian Kurd, a former Klansman, and a town of refugees who seek belonging in a country that blames them for its problems. Swimming against the current of an increasingly polarized and isolated America, each must decide whether they will risk knowing and being known by those who oppose them. Ultimately, REFUGE uncovers what is possible when we leave the security of our tribes and what is at stake for our country if we don’t.

levelFILM in association with Katie Couric Media and Artemis Rising Foundation

Produced and Directed by Erin Bernhardt and Din Blankenship

Edited by Katharine Garrison

Consulting Editor Leigh Johnson

Music by Ryan Potesta

Executive Producer Katie Couric

Executive Producer Regina K. Scully

Executive Producer Patty Quillin

Executive Producer Sabrina Merage Naim

Executive Producer Geralyn Dreyfous

Executive Producers Pat Mitchell, Brenda Robinson, Caroline Tucker,

Executive Producers, Common Pictures and More Productions

Executive Producers David Hudakoc, Mary Beth Minnis,

Executive Producers Emmanuel Jal, Stephen Nemeth, Betsy Stahl

Co-Producer Katherine Garrison

Director of Photography Joseph East

About levelFILM

Based in Toronto, Canada, levelFILM is the independent distribution company behind films such as MR.MALCOLM’S LIST, STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET, TOGETHER TOGETHER, THE SOUVENIR PART II, AKILLA’S ESCAPE and the award-winning SCARBOROUGH. Founded in 2013, levelFILM specializes in acquiring, developing, marketing and selling captivatingly original, quality independent films in Canada and abroad. Between a growing catalogue of high-quality titles and projects in development, levelFILM's goal is to create balance both on-screen and off.

About Shout! Studios

Shout! Studios is the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital, DVD/Blu-ray, and broadcast. Shout! Studios works with creators at the forefront of pop culture, driving creative expression and diversity in independent storytelling. Shout! Studios finances, produces, acquires, and distributes an eclectic slate of movies, award-winning animated features, specialty films and series from rising and established talent, filmmakers, and producers.

Upcoming releases include topical drama On Sacred Ground, starring William Mapother and David Arquette, the sci-fi comedy-drama Linoleum, starring Jim Gaffigan and Rhea Seehorn, epic fantasy adventure The Magic Flute from executive producer Roland Emmerich and starring Jack Wolfe and F. Murray Abraham, fantasy adventure Three Wishes for Cinderella, starring Scandinavian pop star Astrid Smeplass, topical drama feature, medieval action-adventure Kingslayer, starring Ryan Gage, David Hayman, and John Rhys-Davies, and animated features Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon.