Icarus Films acquires NORTHERN LIGHT, Acclaimed Portrait of Snowmobile Racers and Life in Small-Town America

Interviews, preview screeners, limited tickets available for covering journalists and film programmers.

November 20, 2013, New York: Today, Icarus Films announced its acquisition of all North American distribution rights to NORTHERN LIGHT, directed by Nick Bentgen and produced by Lisa Kjerulff

Set against the backdrop of a town’s annual snowmobile race, NORTHERN LIGHT interweaves captivating personal stories of recession-era America. The lives of three families change profoundly in the north woods of Michigan, where winters are unforgiving, jobs are hard to come by, and the line between living life and merely surviving is razor-thin. This cinematic, observational documentary explores the American working class experience through character-based storytelling. As racers and their families pin their hopes to a 500 mile-long test of endurance, small triumphs and giant sacrifices are made along the way. Dysfunction and hardship permeate the cold, but this harsh setting often becomes an incubator for community and familial intimacy.

NORTHERN LIGHT is an official selection of prestigious film festivals including
True/False Film Festival 2013, Viennale Film Festival 2013, Hot Docs Festival 2013, Poland's Aerican Film Festival 2013, and BAMcinemaFest 2013. It was awarded Best Cinematography at the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival and Most Innovative Feature at Switzerland's 2013 Visions du Réel

Shot in rural Michigan over several years, NORTHERN LIGHT is a strong addition to Icarus Films' extensive collection of documentaries on American StudiesCinema StudiesCultural AnthropologyEconomic SociologyFamily Relations and Sociology. Made with elegance and a keen eye, the film is a vital and fresh addition to contemporary American observational c
inéma vérité in the tradition of Peter Davis' MIDDLETOWNNORTHERN LIGHT is currently available for engagements including film festivals and theatrical and non-theatrical/educational bookings

This acquisitions deal was negotiated by Livia Bloom and Jonathan Miller of Icarus Films, for North American rights including non-theatrical, theatrical, home video and digital markets.

Click here to watch a trailer for NORTHERN LIGHT on YouTube!
Click here to watch a trailer for NORTHERN LIGHT on Vimeo!

"I'll not soon forget the durational brilliance of an extended fixed shot of a snow-suited timekeeper on a frozen lake patiently waiting as a snowmobile zips into and out of view, its roar slowly fading into the wintry quiet and then reviving before the vehicle comes speeding through the frame again, as tedious and entrancing as a clock." -Eric Hynes, Cinema Scope

"Accumulates its own weight of human experience through the forbearance and love in three blue-collar families whose fathers participate in competitive snowmobile racing. Their calling is only part of  [a] mosaic of moments among parents and children, life partners and friends, all rendered with lucent beauty by cinematographer Bentgen, making his directorial debut. When the lap numbers flash on screen during a final race and climb into the hundreds, it’s hard not to feel the grinding passage of years behind the pursuit of victory. It’s an elegantly assembled work that gathers slowly" -Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

"While the snowmobile race at the center of the film is dramatic and engrossing, encompassing an entire film within itself, it’s the small, quiet glimpses that pull the viewer in, casting a compassionate eye on lives on the margins. But everybody struggles, and on a fundamental level NORTHERN LIGHT is a film we can all relate to." -Craig Hubert, ArtInfo

"Patient, observant, and deeply generous" -Michael Tully, Hammer to Nail
"Told in short, stolen snippets, it’s one beautiful image after another, showing its Michigan subjects trying to win at various competitions. Ups and downs are captured [and] people just keepin’ on keepin’ on. " -Matt Prigge, Metro

"A visually sumptuous and stirring observation piece that generates a similar small town despondence surrounding an annual snowmobile race in a northern Michigan community feeling the effects of the economic depression." -Robert Bell, Exclaim

Click to visit the NORTHERN LIGHT Webpage at 
Icarus Films 
Click to visit the NORTHERN LIGHT Official Website
For screeners, interviews and to bring this film to your audience, contact:
Livia Bloom, Director of Business Development and Exhibition
livia[at]icarusfilms[dot]com / (718) 488-8900

Copyright © 2013 Icarus Films, All rights reserved.
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