"The Subversives" Feature Documentary enters US/Canada
Gaia Audiovisuals has licensed ‘The Subversives’, the feature documentary by Miles Roston, produced by Carles Pastor of Gaia and Jenny Lundstrom of Ethan Films to Juno Pictures for theatrical release in the US and Canada. The film reveals the little known story of UN Director of Human Rights Theo van Boven (1977-1982) who risks everything to investigate the massive disappearances of people by military dictatorships of South America and worldwide. He eventually confronts the US and the Secretary General, and changes the face of human rights protection worldwide. Featuring Van Boven as well as figures such as Judge Baltasar Garzón, it also details disappearances under Spain’s Franco, who inspired dictators such as Pinochet in Chile. Utilising rare archive and filmed in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland and New York, it features emotional and intimate portraits and testimony of survivors as well as evocative and eerie new sequences of torture centres and mass graves.
"The Subversives is that rare film that both illuminates 20th century history while reminding us that the past is never truly behind us, is never fully resolved and shapes our future," says Elizabeth Sheldon, president of Juno Pictures. "It also illustrates that individuals such as Theo van Boven, armed with moral courage and the strength of institutions such as the U.N., can stop and even prevent barbarity in the world one life at a time. We must never forget the long tradition of dictatorships and fascism, which this film testifies against."
“We are delighted to be working with Juno Pictures who are so committed to what we believe is an important subject and film, especially in these times,” says producer Carles Pastor. “Supported here in Spain by Valencia and Catalonia, it’s great to see that there’s an appreciation for our film internationally.”
“Theo literally opened the door of the UN to victims of Human Rights for the first time in history, metaphorically opening his heart as well; so both he and the world changed.” Having presold the film to Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland, the team is looking for more distribution partnerships internationally.
Roston and Pastor are teaming up with producer Thierry Potok (Constant Gardener/Bourne/Race) and Argentina’s Rizoma Pictures for the fiction version of the film. The script completed, production is slated for end 2018/beginning 2019. “It’s a story of a man who goes against the odds to make a change in the system, classic ingredients of even Hollywood fare,” says Potok. “But it’s all true! Cinematic and gripping, it’s a highly original story set in the rare enclaves of the UN which allows a chance to look at Europe and the West with some distance and perspective, questioning many of our prejudices today.”