EXCLUSIVE: Paris-based mk2 films has boarded international sales on Tina Satter’s debut feature Reality about real-life U.S. whistleblower Reality Winner ahead of its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival later this month.
Euphoria and White Lotus star Sydney Sweeney plays Winner.
The former intelligence officer was given the longest prison sentence ever for the unauthorized release of classified material to the media in 2018 (five years and three months) after she leaked a report about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Opening with the Saturday afternoon in June 2017 when 25-year-old Winner was confronted at her Georgia home by the FBI, the film follows the cryptic conversation that took place as the young woman’s life begins to unravel.
Satter’s dialogue, taken directly from the FBI’s transcript of the interrogation, alternates between nail-biting and banal, darkly funny and surreal.
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The film tracks one woman’s experience of the State at work. As more details of Reality’s life are revealed and more armed men arrive, a complex portrait emerges of an American millennial, yoga teacher, and veteran under siege.
“From the moment I saw Reality’s name typed onto the first page of the transcript and her first “Hey…” as she begins the life-changing conversation with the armed men standing on her lawn, I could hear Reality’s voice and heartbeat. I had a deep internal jolt that sharing this document as a script from the first word to the last word was vital,” explains Satter.
Fionnuala Jamison, Managing Director of mk2 films, praised Sweeney’s performance and Satter’s powerful retelling of the true story.
“Sydney Sweeney delivers a tour-de-force performance in this very layered and potent debut from Tina Satter,” said Jamison.
“We are so excited to screen the film to buyers in Berlin, with its timely themes and distinctive approach to the story of a girl citizen hero under siege, we feel it will strongly resonate with international audiences.”
Sweeney, whose upcoming features include Madame Web and Barbarella, is joined in the cast by Josh Hamilton (Eighth Grade) and Marchánt Davis (The Day Shall Come).
The film is produced by Noah Stahl, Brad Becker-Parton, Riva Marker, and Greg Nobile. Executive producers are Ellyn Daniels, Will O’Connor, Daniel Ginsberg, Andrew Beck, Bill Way, Elliott Whitton, Eva Maria Daniels, Philipp Engelhorn, Caitlin Gold, and Satter. David Duque-Estrada and Rita Walsh co-produced.
The film is a Seaview and 2 SQ FT production in association with Burn These Words, In The Cut, Fit Via Vi, Cinereach, and Tanbark Pictures production.
North America rights are repped by UTA Independent Film Group and WME Independent and mk2 films has all international rights excluding those territories.
The film will premiere at the Berlinale in its Panorama section. The 23rd edition of the festival runs February 16 to 26.
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