EXCLUSIVE: Game Theory acquires Canadian rights to Tenzin

The Canadian Tibetan-language film, shot in Toronto's Parkdale community, will have a theatrical release in early 2022 following its world premiere in Europe.

Boutique distributor Game Theory Films has acquired Canadian rights to Tenzin, the Canadian Tibetan-language drama.

The film, which will have its world premiere at this year’s Tallinn Black Nights Festival, is directed by Joshua Reichmann (Field Notes) and Michael LeBlanc. The script is a collaboration between the directors and the cast, who are all first-time actors and residents of Toronto’s Parkdale community.

Tenzin was produced by Brian Robertson of Toronto’s Low End (Cursed Films, Cosmic Dawn) and Julie Baldassi of Toronto’s Younger Daughter Films (Wildhood). It will have a theatrical release in early 2022.

The deal was negotiated by Hilary Hart, director of distribution and acquisitions, for Game Theory Films and Robertson and Baldassi.

“We were instantly captivated by the visually stunning and authentic intention of the film,” said Hart, in a statement. “The Canadian Tibetan population is a small one, but this is a story with universal appeal. We know it will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds.”

Tenzin is a spiritual and cultural offering and collaboration. As creators, our personal lives, faiths and learning have all evolved in the process of making this film,” said Reichmann and LeBlanc. LeBlanc also served as cinematographer.

The film follows a young Tibetan man living in Toronto who must come to reconcile his new life in Canada with the loss of his older brother, who self-immolates in protest of the treatment of Tibetans living under Chinese occupation. The film’s directors and its cast are all residents of Toronto’s Parkdale community.

“Beyond its artistic statements, it is a story of compassion, tragedy and truth in honour of the Tibetan people,” according to Reichmann and LeBlanc added. “We are thrilled to add Game Theory as partners to champion this story.”

“This is a special film many years in the making, with an exciting, vibrant cast whom we know will move audiences here and abroad,” said producers Robertson and Baldassi. “Tallinn offers up some of the most exciting contemporary arthouse genre films, and we couldn’t be happier to be included in this year’s festival.”

Tallinn Black Nights Festival, held in Estonia, runs from Nov. 12 to 28.