EXCLUSIVE: In an interesting international alliance, the British sales firm Protagonist Pictures and the German 7500 other Stowaway Producer Augenschein is partnering to co-represent worldwide rights to selected films in English.
Protagonist will serve as executive producers of the films in the new association and will work with Augenschein to obtain financing for the projects. The companies will invest a part of the funds generated by the sales in the co-development of selected projects, with the aim of building a co-production slate.
The strategic alliance is not completely exclusive and will not prevent any of the companies from continuing to work with others.
This is a smart move to bolster prominence in a market where streamers are increasingly dominant. We’ve long heard about the potential for sellers and distributors to come together to increase their pulling power and distribution footprint.
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The first project of the new deal will be a heightened survival thriller. Diving starring Sophie Lowe (The slap) and Louisa Krause (Billions). Augenschein, who recently launched an in-house sales division, will co-represent worldwide rights (including US) with Protagonist and the two will begin conversations with buyers at this month’s Cannes virtual market.
The movie, which is based on a Swedish movie. Rupture surface, tells the story of two sisters with a close but complex bond who go diving in a beautiful and remote place. During her dive, one of the sisters is struck by a rock from a landslide on the water, trapping her on the seabed 28 meters below. With dangerously low oxygen levels and cold temperatures, it’s up to her sister to fight for her life, which in turn puts her own life in danger.
Principal photography will begin in mid-August on locations in Malta and Germany.
The film is written and directed by rising German filmmaker Maximilian Erlenwein, known for his crime thriller. Stereo, which debuted in Berlin and was picked up by Netflix. The producers are Maximilian Leo de Augenschein and Jonas Katzenstein. The executive producers are Jonathan Saubach and Philipp Stendebach of Augenschein, along with lead actor Dave Bishop, Luane Gauer, George Hamilton and Janina Vilsmaier.
The production is being financed by Augenschein with the support of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and MFG Film Fund. Wild Bunch will release the film locally in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France. German free TV is licensed by ZDF.
DoP is Frank Griebe (Cloud atlas) which will be supported by the underwater cinematographer Jan Hinrich Hoffmann (Darkest hour). The special effects will be handled by special effects studio LAVAlabs, who also provided the special effects for the Amazon acquisition of Augenschein. 7500.
Augenschein has been remarkably successful with her genre photos. 7500 other Stowaway (both sold to streamers in lucrative deals) and will expect a similar demand for this package.
Sophie Lowe recently starred in the Amazon movie. Take down the man, which debuted at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. She acted alongside Emilia Clarke, Jack Huston and Thora Birch in Phillip Noyce’s Out of suspicionand co-starred with Charlotte Rampling and Willie Nelson in Lian Lunson Waiting for the miracle to come.
Krause’s film credits include the Sundance and Berlinale animated film. Cryptozoo with Lake Bell and Michael Cera, entrance to Berlin skin‘and Todd Haynes’ Dark waters with Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway. His television credits include Ray donovan, The bride’s experience and Showtime’s Billions.
Augenschein CEO and Producer Maximilian Leo commented on the new deal: “We are absolutely delighted to collaborate with the fantastic team at Protagonist and pool our resources and expertise to create the best film list for the international market. It’s the best of both worlds, as we enhance the international scene with the distinctive styles and voices of today’s brightest filmmakers. “
Protagonist Pictures Sales Director George Hamilton added: “The highly gifted team at Augenschein exemplifies the creative and entrepreneurial approach to contemporary and successful filmmaking. We are delighted to be able to combine our collective strengths to launch original stories and voices in the global marketplace, but also to collaborate in their development. “
The protagonist’s list of the virtual Cannes market includes a starry romantic comedy package She came to me, with Anne Hathaway, Tahar Rahim, Marisa Tomei, Joanna Kulig and Matthew Broderick.