Vertical & Netflix Acquire Sundance Pic ‘Berlin Syndrome’

EXCLUSIVE: Another Sundance Film Festival movie has sold in the days before films begin showing late next week in Park City. Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American theatrical rights to the Cate Shortland-directed psychological thriller Berlin Syndrome. Sources said the deal was low- to mid-seven figures, and that Netflix is a big part of that purchase, and will get all rights including streaming after Vertical mounts a theatrical release.

The film, which stars Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt, premieres next Friday night at the MARC Theater, in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition section. The plot: an Australian photographer (Palmer) meets a charismatic local man (Riemelt) while on holiday in Berlin. After a night of passion, she finds herself locked in his apartment and soon realizes he has no intentions of letting her go, ever.

This follows a $6 million world rights deal from Sony Pictures Classics for the gay love story Call Me By Your Name, and a sight-unseen deal by A24 for the David Lowery-directed Ghost Story starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

Berlin Syndrome is produced by Aquarius Films, Entertainment One, Memento Films International, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Fulcrum Media Finance, and DDP Studios. Vertical is targeting an early summer 2017 theatrical release, a similar plan it followed for the Babak Anvari-directed Under The Shadow, which was the UK’s Oscar submission and got an Indie Spirit nom. Vertical has gotten five Spirit noms, with four for the Chris Kelly-directed Other People.

The deal was brokered by UTA Independent Film Group and Vertical’s Rich Goldberg and Peter Jarowey.


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