‘Transition’ Documentary Picked Up in U.S. by Gravitas Ventures newsbhunt


“Tinder Swindler” studio AGC Unwritten has sold U.S. rights to Monica Villamizar and Jordan Bryon’s feature documentary “Transition” to Gravitas Ventures.

The film follows Australian filmmaker Jordan Bryon, a trans man, as he embeds with a Taliban unit as they retake control of Afghanistan. AGC International will screen the film and launch international sales at the American Film Market next week. Gravitas will release the film in March 2024.

“Transition” is produced by Villamizar and was financed by AGC Unwritten and Our Time Projects. Academy Award-nominated documentary director Matthew Heineman (“Cartel Land”) is executive producing with Stuart Ford, Lourdes Diaz, Joel Zimmer, BJ Levin, Sebastian Hernandez, Juan Manuel Betancourt and Joedan Okun.

The film’s primary subjects are Bryon, Afghan cinematographer Farzad Fetrat (“Teddy”) and Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Kiana Hayeri.

“Transition” had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival to audience and critical acclaim and was an official selection at Sheffield DocFest, Sydney Film Festival and the Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin, where it won the audience award this past weekend. It will be featured at the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and Watch Docs festival in the coming weeks.

Gravitas said: “We are so thrilled to be partnering with AGC on Bryon and Villamizar’s hard-hitting documentary. The film offers an incredible look at one man’s personal journey in a larger-than-life tense political setting.”

AGC Unwritten president Joel Zimmer stated: “We’re proud of this award-winning, powerful film and look forward to partnering with Gravitas to share it with a wider audience.”

Bryon is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker with two BAFTAs, an Emmy and a Human Rights Award. His debut feature documentary “Birds of the Borderlands” was shot in Jordan, and screened at 12 international film festivals.

Since being deported from Jordan for queer activism, Bryon has lived and worked in Afghanistan where he has co-directed diverse feature films including two-time BAFTA winning “Children of the Taliban” on Channel 4, and one episode of the “The Brave” series, which won an Emmy for short format daytime program. Jordan has also served as a cinematographer on “America and the Taliban” for Frontline; “The El Masri Case,” which won the audience award at Sarajevo Film Festival; “Turning Point” on Netflix; and the Emmy winning film “In Her Hands,” also on Netflix. Bryon also directed, shot and produced “Battle Dogs,” a 10-episode series for Discovery Channel.

Bryon stayed in Afghanistan when the Taliban marched on the capital city in 2021, and directed and shot multiple short films with the Taliban, including “Inside an Abandoned Mansion That 150 Taliban Now Call Home” for the New York Times, which was the inspiration for a feature film he is co-directing and shooting for the company.

Villamizar is a Colombian-American director, producer and on-air reporter. She has won three Emmys and was nominated for the prestigious One World Media Journalist of the Year Award in 2015. She produced Showtime’s powerful docuseries “The Trade,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She was also a producer on the award-winning National Geographic documentary “The First Wave.”

Villamizar continues to be a special correspondent for the PBS Newshour, and has covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Mali, Congo DRC, Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti, at times filming directly on the front lines. She has covered the drug wars in Colombia and Mexico, gaining exclusive access to cartels and smugglers. In September 2019, she reported on an experimental Ebola vaccine and was a subject of the trial led by Dr. Anthony Fauci. She covered the Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo DRC until her team and WHO doctors came under attack by rebel militias.


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