The Dark, the zombie debut from Justin Lange, is getting a U.S. release after MPI Media Group’s genre film label Dark Sky Films picked up the rights. The deal, negotiated in between Nicola Goelzhaeuser, MPI Media Group’s VP of international sales and XYZ Films’ director of sales and acquisitions Pip Ngo, will see it get a release this fall. The Dark, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, puts a new spin on the zombie genre when an undead teenage girl befriends a blind boy that she meets in a forest she haunts and hunts in. Both have been victims of abuse, and each finds solace in the other. It stars The Sinner’s Nadia Alexander and Trumbo’s Toby Nichols. Goelzhaeuser said, “Since its festival premiere, there has been a great buzz about The Dark. We’re thrilled to be able to bring the film to U.S. audiences.”
Former Momentum Pictures exec Gabrielle Whyte Hart is launching a U.S. division of her feature film production company Fearless Productions, which will focus on horror, drama and thrillers. The producer has already set up her first two projects, Becoming and Sacred Games, with the former launching in Cannes. Becoming, which will be released in late 2018, is a psychological thriller starring Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Toby Kebbell, The Vampire Diaries’ Penelope Mitchell and Sleepers’ Jason Patric. Following a young women who learns her fiancé has become possessed by an evil entity, it is written and directed by The Final Cut’s Omar Naim and is being launched in Cannes by Double Dutch with Traverse Media looking after North America. Her next project is Sacred Games, based on Gerald Jacobs and looks at the brutality of the Holocaust and the story of one Hungarian Jew’s fight to survive.
Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions has partnered with RT Features to produce and finance Danielle Lessovitz’s Port Authority and Croatian writer-director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic’s Murina. The two films follow Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra, which premiered in Cannes last year and went on to be a foreign language contender at the Academy Awards. Port Authority is a love story set in New York’s kiki ballroom scene. Paul, a midwestern teenager, arrives in New York and quickly catches eyes with Wye, a 22-year- old girl voguing on the sidewalk. After Paul seeks her out in secret, an intense love between them blossoms. But when Paul discovers Wye is trans, he is forced to confront his own identity and what it means to belong. Production will commence in New York City this August. Endeavor Content is representing the domestic rights and mk2 films is handling international sales which will continue in Cannes. Murina follows Alamat Kusijanovic’s award-winning short Into the Blue. Set on the rocky cliffs over the Adriatic, Murina tells the story of Julija, a teenage girl who decides to replace her controlling father with his wealthy foreign friend during a weekend of sailing, sensuality and violence. Production will commence in May 2019 on the Croatian Coast. Endeavor Content is representing the worldwide rights.