EFM 2022: The buzz titles from the UK (Screen Daily)
Feb 10, 2022
Screen highlights the buzz titles ready to entice international buyers at the 2022 European Film Market (EFM).
IMAGE SOURCE: BANKSIDE FILMS
Altitude Film Sales will be screening recent Sundance entry The Princess, directed by Ed Perkins and produced by Lightbox duo Simon and Jonathan Chinn. The documentary feature uses archive footage to tell the life story of Princess Diana. Altitude will distribute in the UK. Also being screened to buyers is Second World War thriller Burial from director Ben Parker, which has already sold to multiple territories including North America (IFC Midnight).
Bankside Films has Peter Strickland’s Berlin Encounters title Flux Gourmet. The satire stars Asa Butterfield and Gwendoline Christie and revolves around a culinary collective. Bankside will also be showing a promo for thriller On The Fringe, directed by Juan Diego Botto. The Spain-Belgium co-production interweaves the stories of three characters across 24 hours, each in a crisis; Penelope Cruz and Luis Tosar star, and Cruz also produces with Alvaro Longoria.
Cornerstone Films will launch worldwide sales on Daniel Kokotajlo’s UK project Starve Acre, led by Matt Smith and Morfydd Clark. Based on a 2019 novel by Andrew Michael Hurley, the supernatural horror is set in 1970s rural England where an archaeologist and his partner encounter dark and sinister forces in their remote home. Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell produce for House Productions, alongside Emma Duffy. The project is in pre-production. Cornerstone is also commencing worldwide sales on Kevin Macdonald’s The Iceman, in which Joseph Fiennes will play real-life Dutch motivational speaker and extreme athlete Wim Hof.
Documentary specialists Dogwoof brings Dreaming Walls, which is world premiering in the Panorama section and observes Manhattan’s counterculture hotspot the Chelsea Hotel during its reopening as a luxury hotel. The company is also screening recent Sundance premiere My Old School, Jono McLeod’s documentary-animation hybrid exploring the case of an adult man who posed as a teen pupil at a secondary school in Glasgow in the 1990s.
Embankment Films is courting buyers with Lone Scherfig’s The Movie Teller, starring Daniel Brühl, Bérénice Bejo and Antonio de la Torre. The drama tells the true story of a mining community in Chile’s Atacama desert, and is produced by Adolfo Blanco, Vincent Juillerat and Andres Mardones, with filming commencing in March; Latido Films co-represents Latin American rights. Embankment is also continuing sales on James Napier Robertson’s ballet drama Joika starring Diane Kruger and Talia Ryder. The New Zealand-Poland co-production is currently shooting in Poland.
Mister Smith Entertainment will be screening first footage to buyers of true crime thriller He Went That Way, starring Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto. The feature debut of director Jeffrey Darling tells the story of a serial killer, an animal handler and a TV chimpanzee who cross paths. Marc Benardout, James Harris, Mark Lane, Hugh Broder and Jeremy Kotin produce.
Kaleidoscope market premieres racing documentary Sons Of Speed, which follows the rivalry between the sons of Formula One legends Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Charlotte Fantelli, the filmmaker behind Journey To Le Mans, directs, while Jose Pottamkulam and Joe Matthews produce.
Film Constellation continues sales on English-language Finnish horror The Twin, directed by Taneli Mustonen, which launched at last year’s EFM and has already sold in key territories including Shudder for North America, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Teresa Palmer plays a young mother plagued by the violent death of one of her twins.
HanWay Films is launching sales on Hot Milk. Fiona Shaw, Jessie Buckley and Vicky Krieps star in Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s directing debut, a tense family drama about a mother and daughter who travel to Spain to seek help for the mother’s mysterious illness. It is the first film from former BBC Film head Christine Langan’s company Bonnie Productions, and was developed with Film4. The company is also introducing
Justin Kurzel’s Morning, a sci-fi drama starring Laura Dern, Noah Jupe and Benedict Cumberbatch, and produced by Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland’s SunnyMarch. HanWay is handling international; CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group co‑represent for the US.
Metro International will be screening The Swearing Jar to buyers for the first time, after showing initial footage at AFM in November. The Lindsay MacKay-directed romance stars Adelaide Clemens, Patrick J Adams, Douglas Smith and Kathleen Turner, and follows a married couple as they go down a musical memory lane.
Anton market premieres All Fun And Games starring Asa Butterfield and Natalia Dyer, about siblings who find themselves embroiled in a game with a demonic twist. Anton’s Sébastien Raybaud and John Zois produce alongside AGBO’s Kassee Whiting. Anton handles international sales, and co-represents the US with CAA Media Finance. Shooting commences in Canada in March.
Protagonist Pictures is launching worldwide sales for The Outrun, and co‑representing North American sales with CAA Media Finance. Starring Saoirse Ronan and directed by Nora Fingscheidt, who also adapted the screenplay, it follows a woman who returns from rehab to the Orkney Islands. Producers are Brock Media, Ronan, Jack Lowden and Dominic Norris for Arcade Pictures, and Ignacio Salazar-Simpson and Ricardo Marco Budé for Mogambo. The title is in pre-production.
SC Films International, the animation specialist, will be selling Holocaust memoir My Father’s Secrets, based on the graphic novel by Israeli author Michel Kichka, which documents his father’s experience during and after the Holocaust. Véra Belmont directs the France-Belgium co-production, which is in post. Also on SC’s slate is newly completed Best Birthday Ever from Swedish director Michael Ekblad, with deals sealed last year for Germany (Leonine), France (Gebeka), Spain-Portugal (Big Picture), Sweden (Folkets Bio) and Benelux (Periscoop).
WestEnd Films hopes to captivate buyers with Nobody’s Heart, a 1930s Lisbon-set story that stars Edgar Ramirez and Gugu Mbatha-Raw following the launch of sales at AFM last year. The drama sees a woman uncovering hidden truths about her husband after he dies and leaves her a cork factory. Isabel Coixet directs, with John Fiedler producing.
Signature Entertainment is introducing buyers to The Power editor Tommy Boulding’s directing debut Hounded, which has a cast including Malachi Pullar-Latchman and Samantha Bond. The survival thriller follows a group of thieves whose robbery of a UK stately home takes an unexpected turn. Signature will distribute in the UK and Ireland.
AMP International is floating shark survival thriller The Reef: Stalked, directed by Andrew Traucki and produced by Traucki, Neal Kingston, Michael Robertson and Jack Christian. The story centres on four friends on a kayaking and diving adventure gone awry on a Pacific island, and stars Teressa Liane and Ann Truong.
GFM Animation is leading with Chris Jenkins’ 10 Lives, from animation studio L’Atelier Animation, in which a selfish cat is granted a whole new set of lives. Guy Collins and Sean Feeney produce. Sister company GFM Film Sales will continue to push The Accursed after first footage was shown at AFM. Mena Suvari leads the Kevin Lewis-directed horror as a woman grappling with her estranged mother’s suicide.
Film Republic will prioritise Polish drama Fears, in which a young artist is torn between his Catholic community and his gay identity. Directed by Lukasz Ronduda and Lukasz Gutt, the cast includes Dawid Ogrodnik and Maria Maj. Kuba Kosma produces.
Film Seekers continues sales on sci‑fi thriller Blank after its AFM launch. The feature debut of UK director Natalie Kennedy follows a desperate writer (Rachel Shelley) who signs up for an AI-operated retreat to cure her writer’s block.
Jinga Films launches sales on Francesco Cinquemani’s supernatural thriller The Ghosts Of Monday. Mark Huberman plays a TV director who becomes involved in a conspiracy after travelling to a haunted house in Cyprus. Loris Curci, Marianna Rosset and Vitaly Rosset of Altadium Group produce.
Parkland Pictures will be screening sci-fi thriller Deus, directed by Steve Stone, about a space mission that encounters God. David O’Hara, Claudia Black and Phil Davis star, with Thomas Mattinson, Alan Latham and Kit Monkman producing.
Genre specialist Devilworks is leading with The Nanny’s Night, a Spanish retro-influenced horror about a babysitter who is part of a satanic cult. Ignacio Lopez directs, and the cast includes Juan Carlos Vellido.
Silver Mountain Distribution introduces buyers to Iranian filmmaker Sepideh Hosseini’s debut Son Of Man. The LGBTQ+ drama stars Behnam Sharafi as a woman who transitions to being a man after giving birth. Dalili Group produces.
Blue Finch Films launches international sales on UK home-invasion thriller Barbarians, the directing debut of The Lost Daughter producer Charles Dorfman. Iwan Rheon, Tom Cullen,
Catalina Sandino Moreno and Connor Swindells star. Dorfman has also written and produced Barbarians, co‑producing with Jason Newmark and Laurie Cook of London-based Samuel Marshall Films. IFC Midnight is releasing the film in North America.
The Bureau Sales is introducing French-language thriller The Sitting Duck starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman found mutilated and tied to a chair in her home, who then becomes the suspect of the crime’s investigators. Bertrand Faivre of Le Bureau Films produces with Bettina Brokemper from Germany’s Heimatfilm. The project is in pre-production.
Reason8 will introduce buyers to Millie Lies Low, a young adult drama and the feature debut of Michelle Savill, which is premiering in Berlin’s Generation 14plus strand. The story follows Millie (Ana Scotney), a young woman riddled with anxiety who sabotages her opportunity to leave New Zealand behind for New York.