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HBO has picked up the U.S. TV rights to Dangerous Acts Starring The Unstable Elements of Belarus, the latest film from documentary filmmaker Madeleine Sackler, who is best known for The Lottery.
Dangerous Acts centers on the Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) group, which began in March 2005. It was created by Natalia Kaliada, Vladimir Shcherban and acclaimed journalist Nicolai Khalezin, who are all living in exile in London. The group highlights social and political issues posed in Belarus, one of the former Soviet republics and lead by Alexander Lukashenko, who is considered the last dictator in Europe. BFT is known around the world and has performed at the Public Theater in the U.S. and counts Sir Tom Stoppard and actor Jude Law as trustees.
Sackler put together the documentary using smuggled footage and features interviews. She had to overcome the strict censorship imposed by the state on its citizens.
“HBO is the perfect home for Dangerous Acts,” Sackler said. “After working on this film in secret for the last three years because of the censorship in Belarus, we are very excited to be sharing it with audiences on HBO.”
Dangerous Acts will have its world premiere on Sept. 8 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Sackler’s best known work is the 2010 film The Lottery, which exposes the flawed lottery system used in New York to decide which students get into which schools.