'Jump' looks at Halsman trial

BERLIN — Patrick Swayze’s upcoming Austrian-produced drama “Jump,” about the 1928 murder trial of celebrity photographer Philippe Halsman, will have its world premiere in the Austrian city of Linz on April 16.

Produced by Lilly Berger and written and directed by Joshua Sinclair, “Jump” recounts the mysterious death of Halsman’s father while on a hiking trip in the Alps with his son, and the arrest of the Latvian-born Halsman, played by British thesp Ben Silverstone (“Get Real”) for the crime.

As a Jew and outsider, Halsman faced anti-Semitic hostility and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Swayze plays Halsman’s defense attorney, Richard Pressburger.

Halsman, who was eventually released after Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Thomas Mann rallied to his cause, went on to become one of the most celebrated photographers in the U.S. His iconic photos of famous personalities — often jumping or in mid-air — regularly graced the covers of Life magazine from the 1940s through the ’70s.

“Jump,” the first-ever privately financed English-language Austrian production, will have one of the biggest premieres ever in Austria, according to producer Berger.

While Swayze, who is currently battling pancreatic cancer, will most likely not attend, Berger said the actor declined her suggestion to postpone the premiere.

“Patrick has been totally supportive and did not want to hear of a postponement. His friends will be there along with the rest of the cast. It will be a major premiere for Austria,” Berger said.

Berger is distributing the film in Austria, while Uwe Boll’s Boll AG is handling international rights, including the U.S. and Germany, where KinoStar looks likely to pic up domestic rights.

Swayze’s other upcoming projects include the cable pilot “The Beast,” about an unorthodox FBI agent, which is under consideration at A&E as a possible series, and Timothy Linh Bui’s big-screen drama “Powder Blue.”

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