EXCLUSIVE: Tim Grady and Jeff Lipsky’s New York-based Adopt Films has been very acquisitive on the foreign language scene since co-founding the indie distributor in 2011. Last year, they handled Oscar nominee Omar, by Hany Abu Assad, and also in 2014 picked up Cannes Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep. In 2012 at Berlin, they planted a flag with a quartet of titles, three of which ended up being their respective country’s Oscar submission. Their latest acquisition is this weekend’s Berlin prize-winner, Victoria, from director Sebastian Schipper. The film won an Outstanding Artistic Contribution Silver Bear on Saturday for cinematographer Strurla Brandth Grovelen. When jury president Darren Aronofsky awarded the honor, he said, “This film rocked my world.”
Adopt has taken all U.S. rights and plans a late summer/early fall 2015 release. The story of friends whose wild night of partying ends with a bank robbery is shot by Norwegian-born Brandth Grøvlen in one continuous 134-minute take, bridging 20 locations which incorporate scenes of underground dance raves, hold-ups, car chases, shoot-outs, kidnappings, rooftop flirtations, and coffee house piano performances. It stars Spain’s Laia Costa and German actors Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, and Max Mauff. Jan Dressler is producer.
Although the movie is subtitled in English most of the film’s dialogue is already in English, in deference to the common language spoken by the story’s ex-pat Spanish heroine and the German characters she befriends.
The deal was negotiated by The Match Factory’s Brigitte Suarez and Thania Dimitrakopoulou with Grady and Lipsky. This is the fourth collaboration between Adopt and Match Factory, following Berlinale prize winners Barbara and Tabu, as well as Omar which bowed in Cannes in 2013.
Grady and Lipsky say, “This buy was a real coup for Adopt. Victoria has the energy of Run Lola Run and La Femme Nikita, and shares in common with those earlier titles a strong, smart, beautiful, galvanizing female protagonist. With this ground-breaking film, Schipper has mastered the full potential of digital filmmaking. Movies this good and this visually exciting don’t come along every day.”
Adopt next releases Effie Gray on April 3. The British biopic about famed art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride, and pre-Raphaelite artist John Millais, stars Dakota Fanning, Julie Walters, Tom Sturridge, David Suchet, Claudia Cardinale and Emma Thompson – upon whose first original screenplay the film is based.