Writer-director Tony Stone’s true crime drama, starring Sharlto Copley (District 9) as the ‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski, will play in the Panorama section of this year’s largely digital Berlinale.
The film tracks a period in the life of Kaczynski, more widely known as the Unabomber, and draws from his personal diaries and accounts from those who knew him during his life in hiding in a simple wooden cabin in the mountains of Montana.
According to the producers, a number of the film’s supporting cast are non-professional locals, some of whom knew Kaczynski, and the production worked closely with his former neighbors and employers to corroborate research and paint an authentic picture of the man.
Stone built a recreation of Kaczynski’s cabin on its original site, and production made use of every structure and object that Kaczynski left behind as part of the 60-day shoot over four seasons in Montana.
Ted K is Stone’s third feature after his 2009 pic Severed Ways and the 2016 documentary Peter and The Farm. Both films were released by Magnolia Pictures.
Writer-director Stone said: “Ted K dives into the disturbed and tormented life of Theodore J Kaczynski, a character that is routinely displayed in popular culture. As filmmakers we wanted to revisit and abolish the usual tropes of the biopic to create an experiential cinematic journey, depicting what Ted’s day to day life was like through extreme subjectivity. Since 1996 when a man covered in filth was dragged out of his cabin, the public has been fascinated with how someone with no running water or electricity could paralyze and terrorize American society for nearly two decades and strong arm the publication of a 35,000-word manifesto. As modern society confronts massive problems of technological reliance and climate catastrophe, Kaczynski’s writings, from revengeful rants to constructive arguments, and his simple existence in the natural world continue to take on more and more intrigue and relevance.”
He continued: “Working with Sharlto Copley was profound and cathartic. We watched him become indiscernible from Kaczynski, as he delivered a raw and emotionally charged performance. As this film starts its journey to find its audience, our team is grateful for the opportunity to be selected to show in Berlin’s Panorama program and to be working with HanWay and Cinetic.”
Ted K is a Tony Stone film, presented by Heathen Films in association with Verisimilitude, Hideout Pictures, In Your Face Entertainment, and Cameron Brodie with the support of Montana Film Office, Big Sky Film Grant and New York State Post Production Tax Credit Program.
The film is edited by Tony Stone and Brad Turner with original score by Blanck Mass. The director of photography is Nathan Corbin and script writers are Gaddy Davis, John Rosenthal and Tony Stone. Executive producers are Cameron Brodie, Tyler Brodie, Melissa Auf der Maur, Shannon Houchins, Potsy Ponciroli and Trevor O’Neil. It is co-produced by Jake Perlin, Niles Roth and Colin Scott, and Tony Stone and Matt Flanders produced in association with Sharlto Copley.