McQueen remains in production on the project, which is about Amsterdam under Nazi occupation during World War II.
A24 will handle domestic and New Regency will handle international, with both players co-financing. As previously revealed, Film4 are also co-financing and retain UK broadcast rights.
Partners on the Netherlands-UK co-pro also include the Netherlands Film Fund, Mondriaan Fund and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. McQueen’s Lammas Park outfit is also a co-producer. Production began a few years ago.
Occupied City is based on the illustrated history book Atlas of an Occupied City, Amsterdam 1940-1945, written by author and filmmaker Bianca Stigter (McQueen’s wife). With a $5M+ budget, it isn’t your average European doc.
The book uncovers traces of World War II in Amsterdam, guiding the reader through the once-occupied Netherlands capital. The Netherlands Film Fund previously said of the project: “Living in Amsterdam is like living with spirits. It looks like there are two parallel worlds. The past is always present.”
On a per capita basis, the Netherlands had the most people hiding from occupying forces during the war. Among those seeking refuge in Amsterdam at the time were Anne Frank and Audrey Hepburn.
It’s not clear yet whether the film – which marks McQueen’s first foray into non-fiction feature filmmaking — will launch in late 2022 or 2023.
Stitger, who was an associate producer on McQueen’s Widows and Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave, recently directed well-received Holocaust documentary Three Minutes: A Lengthening which launched at Venice and Toronto and will play at virtual Sundance.
McQueen’s regular partners New Regency are also aboard his next narrative feature Blitz, which is due to shoot this year. The British director is coming off critically acclaimed anthology series Small Axe, which won five BAFTAs.
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