Golden Melies winner ‘Waves’ sells Japan

Reel Suspects rolls out 'Death,' picks up 'Sinkholes'

SITGES — Helmer Kristina Buozyte’s sci-fi love story “Vanishing Waves,” which won Europe’s Golden Melies Thursday night at Sitges, has begun to close sales worldwide, rolling off its four prizes at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.

Sold by Matteo Lovadina’s Reel Suspects, “Waves” has closed Japan in an all-rights deal with arthouse distrib New Select Co.

France, the U.K., Brazil, Italy and Spain are under negotiation, per Lovadina. Artsploitation Films closed U.S. rights in July.

“Waves” swept picture, director, screenplay and actress (Jurga Jutaite) at Austin.

On Thursday, it beat eight Silver Melies winners at Euro genre fests to take the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation’s Golden Melies award. Competitors included Ciaran Foy’s SXSW fave “Citadel,” and Spain’s “Sleep Tight” and “Insensibles.”

“The prizes make ‘Vanishing Waves’ unique. After Austin, I had big companies wanting to see the film,” Lovadina told Variety.

Meanwhile, first-timer Santiago Fernandez’s rural film noir “Second Death,” which plays in competition at Sitges on Monday, has been sold by Reel Suspects to Germany (Donau-Film) and Turkey (Medyavizyon) with Spain, U.K., Italy and France in negotiation. Argentina’s Magma Cine produces “Death.”

Reel Suspects also has sales rights to French first-timer Antoine Barraud’s Locarno player “The Sinkholes,” a “dark visionary psychodrama,” said Lovadina, starring Nathalie Boutefeu (“A Secret”) and Mathieu Amalric (“Quantum of Solace”).

“I handle arthouse films with a twist, auteur genre within a very broad idea of genre. The fan-base is already there. You don’t have to over-sell these films,” Lovadina said.

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