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Along with Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer Blood Mountain, Altitude Film Sales has added two other titles to its slate for next week’s European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival. It’s come aboard Fishing Without Nets, Cutter Hodierne’s winner of the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Directing Award that tells the story of an oil tanker hijacking from the perspective of impoverished Somalis. Also new to Altitude’s slate is documentary Bolshoi Babylon, a behind-the-scenes look at the famed Russian ballet company. Nick Read (The Condemned) directs, with Mark Franchetti (Terror In Moscow) producing and Simon Chinn (Searching For Sugar Man, Man On Wire) exec producing.
Christopher Denham’s latest horror thriller Preservation has been acquired by XYZ Films which will sell worldwide rights beginning at the EFM. Wrenn Schmidt, Aaron Staton and Pablo Schreiber star in the film about a brainy anesthesiologist who heads out on a hunting trip in a forest preserve with her husband, a hedge fund manager, and his brother, a former Marine. When the brothers are stalked and captured, she must unleash her own animal instincts or else end up a trophy. XYZ will show a promo reel screening in Berlin on February 6; it also is selling Kevin Smith’s horror film Tusk and Toa Fraser’s Maori actioner The Dead Lands.
Blockade Entertainment and Rainmaker Entertainment are re-teaming on Sly Cooper, a CG-stereoscopic animated feature that’s based on the PlayStation video game franchise. Release is planned for early 2016 on the film written and directed by Kevin Munroe. Sly Cooper is a comedic heist pic about an orphaned raccoon who discovers that he comes from a long line of international thieves and sets off on a global adventure with his friends in an attempt to reassemble pieces of an ancient book that holds the Cooper family’s secrets. Cinema Management Group is handling sales starting at the EFM. Here’s a teaser:
Content is reuniting with Red & Black Films principals Caradog James and John Giwa-Amu (The Machine) on Don’t Knock Twice, with worldwide presales to begin at EFM. James is directing from a script by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler, and Giwa-Amu and Seymour Films’ Claire Moorsom are producing. Content’s Jamie Carmichael will executive produce. The pic is a twisted urban legend a la Candyman and The Ring; preproduction is set to start in the spring.
With Netflix expected to expand further into Europe this year, the streaming service and the Berlin Film Festival have cozied up for an unusual debut: Netflix’s House Of Cards has been given a Berlinale Special Gala slot at the festival on February 16. The first two episodes of the 2nd season will be screened for festgoers two days after the entire series bows in the U.S. In other lineup news at Berlin, the fest has added Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s untitled New York Review Of Books documentary as a work-in-progress feature of the Berlinale Special. The filmmakers and key contributors will discuss the project following the screening. The doc will reveal the inner workings of the publication from its birth during the 1963 New York Times strike, through its continued relevance in today’s digital universe. Making use of rare footage and photographs, the film includes writers like James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky and Norman Mailer; along with new footage of Joan Didion, Michael Chabon, Mary Beard, and Timothy Garton Ash.