Morton, Sutherland head down ‘River’

Scott enjoys 'Creature' comforts

Samantha Morton, Kiefer Sutherland and Cliff Curtis will topline Vincent Ward’s epic period drama “River Queen,” which is being sold by the Works.

Written by Ward and fellow New Zealander Toa Fraser, “River Queen” turns on the Maori land wars in the late 19th century, and a young woman caught in their midst.

“River” is a co-production between New Zealand’s Silverscreen Films and the U.K.’s Film Consortium. Don Reynolds and Chris Auty will produce; James D. Stern, Neil Peplow and Geoff Dixon serve as exec producers.

Principal photography commences June 28 in North Island.

New Zealand Film is handling sales for Japan and the rest of Asia.

Also, Dougray Scott and Saffron Burrows will co-star in “Perfect Creature,” a retro-futuristic vampire project by Glenn Standring (“The Irrefutable Truth About Demons”).

“Perfect Creature” portrays a world where vampires protect humans from viral and DNA mutants until one vampire begins to prey on humans.

Arclight Film Intl. is handling worldwide outside Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, which are being repped by New Zealand Film. Arclight has pre-sold Japan to Nikkatsu Corp. and Scandinavia to Scanbox.

“Perfect Creature” is co-produced by Tim Sanders, Roc Media’s Russel Fischer and Haneet Vaswani and Spice Factory’s Michael Cowan and Jason Piette.

“Perfect Creature” receives funding from the New Zealand Film Production Fund, the New Zealand Film Commission, Movision, Roc Media and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

F/x will be supplied by “The Lord of the Rings” technicians, NZ SFX houses Animation Research and Oktober. Pic rolls May 23 in Dunedin and Auckland.

Pics were announced at a New Zealand Film party Sunday evening celebrating its 25 years of Cannes attendance.

“It’s partly coincidence that films of this scale have come together now,” said the New Zealand Film Commission’s Anne Chamberlain. “But it could also reflect increased funding for films since the creation in 2000 of the New Zealand Film Production Fund and a growing confidence in the industry, plus the maturity of talent.”

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