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Shudder Buys North America, UK & Australia On Ghost Story ‘Martyrs Lane’ From LevelK
Read more about Shudder Buys North America, UK & Australia On Ghost Story ‘Martyrs Lane’ From LevelK here
June 17th 2021

Shudder Buys North America, UK & Australia On Ghost Story ‘Martyrs Lane’ From LevelK

AMC Networks’ genre streamer Shudder has landed rights for North America, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand to Martyrs Lane, the UK supernatural horror, in a deal with Danish sales company LevelK.

Ruth Platt (The Lesson) wrote and directed the movie, which stars Olivier Award-winner Denise Gough (Colette), Steven Cree (Outlaw King) and newcomers Kiera Thompson and Sienna Sayer.

LevelK has also pre-sold the title to Italy (Koch Media), Vietnam (Noori Pictures), Taiwan (Deep Picture Corporation) and India (Big Tree Entertainment). The deal was negotiated by Emily Gotto for Shudder with Debra Liang from LevelK. The film will be part of LevelK’s pre-Cannes market line-up.

Martyrs Lane centers on Leah, a young girl who lives in a large vicarage with her parents and older sister. During the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty and a space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. Leah can’t quite work out why something feels missing in her relationship with her mother, however hard she tries. When a small, nightly visitor appears, Leah feels duty bound to receive them with kindness – and a little game between them begins in which Leah is set a nightly task. With each task, Leah’s knowledge grows – knowledge that unpicks the broken relationship she has with her mother, and threatens to destabilise the world as she knows it. Read the full exclusive in Deadline.
XYZ Films, LevelK board Cambodian sci-fi ‘Karmalink’
Read more about XYZ Films, LevelK board Cambodian sci-fi ‘Karmalink’ here
June 3rd 2021

XYZ Films, LevelK board Cambodian sci-fi ‘Karmalink’

XYZ Films and LevelK are joining forces for the first time to work on Cambodian sci-fi feature Karmalink. LevelK will handle international sales while XYZ represents North American rights.

Jake Wachtel makes his feature directorial debut on the film, described as a “Buddhist sci-fi mystery”. The story follows a 13-year-old boy and his detective friend searching for a gold statue from the boy’s past lives, while navigating a high-tech, near-future Cambodia.

Los Angeles-based Valerie Steinberg produces for Valerie Steinberg Productions. Co-producers are Cambodian director-producer Sok Visal of 802 Films, as well as Christopher Rompré of Little BIG Films. Todd Brown and Nate Bolotin of XYZ serve as executive producers, and Christopher Seán Larsen and Monica Palmieri serve as associate producers.

Wachtel started developing the film in 2015, while teaching a year-long course in filmmaking to youth in Phnom Penh. He cast two former students as his leads and shot the film on location after living in their community for much of the next three years.

In addition to the young non-actor leads, the cast includes Cambodian actors Sveng Socheata (First They Killed My Father) and Rous Mony (The Prey), as well as Sahajak Boonthanakit (Only God Forgives) and Cindy Sirinya Bishop (The Crown Princess).

Todd Brown, head of international acquisitions at XYZ Films, said: “XYZ has a long-standing focus on striking and unusual voices from around the globe, and the moment I saw the first test footage that showed the work Jake Wachtel was doing with children in Phnom Penh, I knew there was the potential for something truly special. The vision of the future in Karmalink captures a completely different perspective from what we normally see, one that we believe will be exciting to audiences around the world, and we’re thrilled to work alongside a partner as strong as LevelK to bring it to them.” Read the full exclusive in Screendaily.

LevelK strikes US, UK deals for Sundance winner ‘Hive’ (exclusive)
Read more about LevelK strikes US, UK deals for Sundance winner ‘Hive’ (exclusive) here
May 4th 2021

LevelK strikes US, UK deals for Sundance winner ‘Hive’ (exclusive)

LevelK has sold Kosovan drama Hive, which won three major awards at Sundance, to Kino Lorber in association with Zeitgeist Films for North America; Altitude for the UK and Ireland; and Icon for Australia and New Zealand.

The film also sold to China (Beijing Hugoeast Media); Scandinavia (Edge Entertainment); Portugal (Films4you); Eastern Europe (HBO Central Europe); Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia (Kino Mediteran); Turkey (Filmarti); and Greece (Cinobo). LevelK is also finalising more deals.

The film marks the feature debut of writer/director Blerta Basholli and tells the story of a woman (played by Yllka Gashi) whose husband has been missing since the Kosovo war. She launches a small food business with other women in the patriarchal village where she lives.

Hive was the big international winner at the online Sundance film festival this year, picking up the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic, and Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic prizes.

Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman, Zeitgeist Films co-presidents said: “We had reached our ideal limit of five carefully chosen films per year to distribute when Hive came along. This film had such a powerful effect on us that it was impossible to ignore, and impossible not to want to bring to North American audiences. This seemingly quiet, true story about a Kosovar woman who demands to be respected when she tries to start a hot pepper business in her village grabs your attention and never lets it go.”

Altitude’s Head of Acquisitions Laura Wilson added: “We were all blown away by Hive. It’s a beautifully made, deeply thoughtful film which is, by turns, infuriating, entertaining, moving and inspiring. While it shines an important light on the aftermath of the Kosovan war, it’s also a story of women overcoming injustices in a patriarchal society, which will resonate and motivate all around the world.” Read the full Screen exclusive here.

LevelK boards new Brazilian doc From Love No One Escapes
Read more about LevelK boards new Brazilian doc From Love No One Escapes here
April 13th 2021

LevelK boards new Brazilian doc From Love No One Escapes

International sales and aggregation outfit LevelK has acquired world sales rights for the Brazilian documentary feature From Love No One Escapes, which depicts the lives of inmates inside a Brazilian jail where there are no guns or guards. The film screens at Visions du Réel market running 14-22 April.

From Love No One Escapes is directed by brothers Julio Hey and Daniel Hey under the joint name Irmãos Ahimsa. Through this label, the two brothers aim, via filmmaking, to promote a culture of self-knowledge and non-violence(which is the meaning of their Sanskrit moniker ‘ahimsa’). This is Julio’s second documentary feature and Daniel’s first.

The film portrays the interior of a Brazilian prison where a humanized system of incarceration, known as APAC, allows for the absence of prison guards and weapons. After becoming volunteers in the prison and residing for more than a month under the semi-open regime, the documentarists recorded daily life behind bars, inviting prisoners and employees of APAC to open their hearts and share their stories and perceptions about life.

The documentary is mostly composed of informal conversations that portray different aspects of the lives of incarcerated individuals, such as spirituality, family life, work, music and the desire for freedom. Through deep conversations, From Love No One Escapes investigates the irrefutable role of love in the recovery and resocialization of human beings that have commited all kinds of crime. The film aims to offer solid and palpable arguments in defense of a more compassionate and humanistic approach to prisoning.

The film is produced by Adriana Tavares for Brazilian outfit Café Royal in co-production with Mario Patrocínio for Bro Cinema (Portugal).

“The idea of a prison that works without guns or any guards, where the detainees themselves carry the keys, provoked us,” the directors jointly state. “We wanted to make the world discover this Brazilian prison system that could supposedly surpass standard prisons in several aspects, especially by reducing the rate of recidivism…

“The potential of this project is directly related to the importance of the main topic, ’imprisonment in Brazil’. We urgently need to enrich the debate on this theme, presenting alternative methods of incarceration and resocialization for detainees.” Read the exclusive in Business Doc Europe here.