Lightyear Entertainment CEO Arnie Holland has announced the acquisition of A-ha: The Movie and We Were Once Kids, two films that debuted with great success earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Both films are about established historical brands – A-ha: The Movie celebrates the 40th anniversary of the irresistible pop song and music video Take on Me – still one of the most played songs of the last millennium – and reveals the ability of group to overcome personal differences while continuing to tour and make music together, remaining popular around the world; while We Were Once Kids takes a look at the lives of the children who featured in the 1995 Larry Clark Miramax classic, Kids. Each title will hit theaters in the US and Canada, starting April 8 with A-ha: The Movie in New York City, Los Angeles and other Top 10 markets; We Were Once Kids will open in May.

“The subject of these two documentaries is a legend,” said Holland. “I’m sure there isn’t a living person who doesn’t immediately know the song Take on Me but the band’s runaway success and creative clashes are just as fascinating. Released 24 years before Spotify was created, Take However, recently I got a billion streams on this platform alone. Meanwhile, children, whose survivors are now adults, have helped revolutionize the brutal and inextricable guerrilla-style cinema that is now so caught up. for granted, but their rise to both fame and infamy provide some heartbreaking life experiences and thoughts. These are excellent, thought-provoking films, both of which have substantial fan bases already in place. . We’re going to have fun with these two. “

Hailing from a small town in Norway, the synth-pop trio of keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, singer Morten Harket and guitarist Pål Waktaar-Savoy became global thrills and crushes overnight when they released Take On Me with his revolutionary pencil animation video. Their newfound fame overshadowed their initial dream of making music and each of them took different paths to return to what they loved most.

The film features candid, at times tense, interviews of the band as well as never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage that reveals the depth of their musical talent, skills, and ambitions often hidden behind their popstar image. Since 1985, A-ha has continued to fill arenas around the world, released 15 albums that have sold over 55 million copies, won eight MTV Awards, won Grammy and American Music Awards nominations , held a Guinness World Record – for the highest paying audience at a pop concert with 198,000 people – and were named knights. A-ha: The film is directed by Thomas Robsahm. The producers are Yngvie Saether, Tore Buvarp, Thomas Robsahm, Esther van Messel

In support of A-ha: The Movie, the band will perform live, also in April, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall – their first comeback in 35 years – and three already sold-out concerts at the Wiltern Theater. from Los Angeles.

We Were Once Kids is a surprisingly personal documentary about real people that inspired the cult Larry Clark Kids movie, distributed by Miramax Films.

In the early 1990s, before the mass gentrification of New York City, a group of disparate young people ventured out of their broken homes into the brutal city streets. United by skateboarding, they cultivated a family and built a unique lifestyle that ultimately inspired Clark’s film. The crew became a commodity overnight, propelled into the public spotlight. Left adrift in the bright lights, some have discovered transcendent lives and careers, while others, abandoned and not equipped to handle stardom, have suffered fatal consequences.

As Rolling Stone’s Eric Hynes describes, “It can be hard to remember how notorious Larry Clark’s independent skater odyssey was. The film grossed over $ 20 million at the box office – a WILD hit. when you factor in that he only seemed to be able to sell a single ticket without going to jail. There were threats of child obscenity and pornography charges. There was a crippling MPAA rating from NC -17. That was fodder for the indignant reports on CNN. The kids felt unsafe. Two decades later, it still is. ” In 1995, when the film was released, Kids’ cultural impact transcended its urban landscape and was felt around the world. Newsweek called it “amazing”; Janet Maslin of the New York Times said it was “a wake-up call to the modern world.”

The success of Kids catapulted the group into mainstream audiences, including writer Harmony Korine and actors Chloë Sevigny, Rosario Dawson, Leo Fitzpatrick and Justin Pierce. However, it was not just these now famous names that were in the spotlight. Under the bright lights, some have discovered transcendent lives and careers, while others, not equipped to handle hyperbolic fame, have suffered fatal consequences.

This story has powerful themes and complex layers. The fine lines between opportunity and exploitation are at stake. Youth, friendship, temptation and loss are all tangible elements for a large international audience that will connect beyond its fan base. Clark has captured the spirit of youth in its most primitive form and the real characters whose youth he immortalized are now ready to share their story and the impact the film has had on their lives. We Were Once Kids is a unique glimpse into unsolicited celebrity, told from the inside out.

We Were Once Kids is directed by Eddie Martin and produced by Shannon Swan. It is written by Eddie Martin and Hamilton Chango Harris. It won the award for Best Editing at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, where the film was called “The Kids”. We Were Once Kids also won the award for Best Feature Documentary at the Sideway Film Festival in Birmingham, AL, and a Special Jury Prize at the Calgary Underground.

Lightyear Entertainment is a distribution company that previously theatrically released Oscar-nominated Tanna for Best Foreign Film. Additionally, Holland and his team have theatrically released The Etruscan Smile, starring Brian Cox (The HBO Estate), Maze, Jirga and Goldstone.

Lightyear Entertainment negotiated directly with First Hand Films for the rights to A-ha: The Movie and with Dogwoof Sales for We Were Once Kids.

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