French studio SND has come on board “The Atticus Institute,” a high-concept supernatural thriller produced by Peter Safran, whose credits include “The Conjuring.”
SND, the commercial arm of French TV net M6 has nabbed French distribution rights and international sales; and will start shopping the project – now in post — at the American Film Market.
Penned by “Buried” scribe, Chris Sparling, the 1976-set “Atticus” revolves around a parapsychology lab which uncovered the supernatural abilities of Judith Winstead, a patient possessed with dark forces. The Atticus Institute discovery prompted the U.S. military to intervene and take control of the facility in order to weaponize Winstead’s evil forces.
“Chris has mastered the documentary technique and found-footage codes. He imposed himself with demanding constraints – as he did with Buried – only to twist and play with them,” said Safran, who described the project’s universe as “captivating and oppressive.”
Pic stars Rya Kihlstedt, Aaron Craven and Laurent Rubin.
Lionel Uzan, SND’s topper of acquisitions and international sales at SND, pointed out Safran and Sparling’s alliance was a perfect match. “Peter Safran is an extremely brilliant producer and Chris Sparling is definitively a talented director. Distributors and audiences should be ready to experience fear to an all new level.”
SND will unveil first footage of “Atticus” at the AFM.
Along with Wild Bunch, SND is one of the handful French companies riding on the lucrative trend for low-budget/high-concept U.S. genre pics.