Kino Lorber, Zeitgeist Films Acquire ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Making-Of Documentary ‘Desperate Souls, Dark City’

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EXCLUSIVE: Kino Lorber and Zeitgeist Films have picked up North American rights to Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy — a new documentary on the making of the iconic John Schlesinger film, from acclaimed documentarian Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story).

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Zeitgeist will open the film in North American theaters beginning at New York’s Film Forum in late June and take it nationwide from there, with a digital, educational and home video release on all major platforms via Kino Lorber to follow.

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Inspired by Glen Frankel’s 2021 book Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation and the Making of a Dark Classic, Desperate Souls goes behind the scenes to visually document the creation of a masterpiece made by complex and paradoxical characters in New York City, 1969, an era when all the rules of society were being questioned. Featuring inside stories of the film’s production from cast members including Jon Voight, Brenda Vaccaro and Bob Balaban, the doc also spotlights such cultural critics as J. Hoberman, Lucy Sante, Ian Buruma and Charles Kaiser, who provide insight and perspective on the period of the film’s original release.

World premiering at the 2022 Venice Film Festival before going on to play others including Telluride, Desperate Souls is produced by Buirski, Susan Margolin, Simon Kilmurry and Augusta Films, in association with Cineflix Productions and Foothill Productions. Exec producers are James Costa, Geralyn Dreyfous, J.C. Mills, Glen Salzman, Regina K. Scully, Nathalie Seaver, Mark Trustin and Jamie Wolf. The film was co-produced by Claire L. Chandler.

“For those of us who were around when Midnight Cowboy was first released, this incredibly insightful, entertaining as well as tragic portrait of the era and its characters brought back memories, but more than that, added to the understanding we thought we already had,” said Zeitgeist Films’ Co-Presidents, Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo. “Bravo to Nancy Buirski for another extraordinary work of profound compassion.”

“The team behind Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy could not be more honored to join Zeitgeist and Kino Lorber’s notable canons,” added Buirski. “As important, we’re impressed by the care and support Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo offer their filmmakers. In a competitive environment, this is vital.”

Russo and Gerstman negotiated the deal for Desperate Souls on behalf of Zeitgeist Films, with Kino Lorber’s Wendy Lidell and Range Select’s Jessica Lacy on behalf of the filmmakers.

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