Reel Suspects unveils awaited “Ludo” at Fantasia Fest
Paris-based Reel Suspects has sold North American rights to non-stock horror triptych “German Angst” to Raymond Murray’s Artsploitation Films.
Described by Artsploitation as “mystical and disturbing,” triptych, which sees its North American premiere at Canada’s Fantasia Film Festival on July 18, will then continue its festival run. A DVD/Blu-ray and VOD release is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016
Sale marks continuing title-by-title Artsploitation-Reel Suspects biz, after Raymond Murray’s Artsploitation Films, a indie distributor specializing in unsettling art or genre film fare from around the world, bought Reel Suspects’ French genre auteur hit “Horsehead” and another arthouse-genre mix, sci-fi “Vanishing Waves,” which was helmed by Lithuania’s Katrina Buozyte and a Golden Melies and Austin Fantastic Fest best picture winner.
Fast consolidating as one of Europe’s leading genre companies, handling edgier titles from Europe and world cinema, Matteo Lovadina’s Reel Suspects’ will unleash three titles in all at Canada’s on-the-build Fantasia Fest, which kicked off Tuesday in Montreal. The two others: Thai Berlin player “The Blue Hour” and the anticipated “Ludo,” a Fantasia Fest world premiere.
Making its world premiere at 2015’s Rotterdam Fest’s Spectrum Section, which focuses on “contemporary reality,” “German Angst” is a German three-part horror movie directed by three of its genre gurus, which span several creative generations: Jorg Buttgereit, whose 1987-released “Nekromanitik” helped re-launch modern German horror film; Andreas Marschall, director of 2004’s “Tears of Kali,” a Silver Melies winner, and Michal Kosakowski, whose “Zero Killed,” a controversial fiction/docu feature on murder fantasies, won best film at the 2012 Chicago Underground Festival.
Tales turn on love, horror and sex in Berlin: In Buttgereit’s “Final Girl,” his awaited big-screen return, a young girl lives alone in a dirty apartment, save for her guinea pig and a man, which is bound and gagged; Kosakowski’s ”Make a Wish” has hooligans attacking a young deaf-mute couple, who fight back using a powerful talisman; in Marschall’s “Alraune,” a man stumbles on a secret party scene, is promised the ultimate sexual experience, taking a fabled Mandragora root drug, which has terrible side effects.
Alamode Film/Pierrot Le Fou has acquired rights to German-speaking Europe on “German Angst.” Lumix Media and Moviecloud have also bought the movie. “’German Angst is a singularly memorably film experience. It is infused with amazingly dark, violent, and disturbing ruminations on love and sex. And if this is German romance, let’s just say I won’t be dating a German any time soon,” he joked and continued: “Actually, in a time when so many horror films are familiarly formulaic, it is amazing that these “romantic” films are seismically more horrific.”
“Artsploitation is the perfect fit for this film that has proved to be a double player both on the art house and horror scenes since its premiere in Rotterdam this January,2 Lovadina added.
“German Angst” is produced by Kosakowski Films, the Poland-born director’s Berlin label dedicated to telling “contemporary tales that take on sociopolitical subjects in all their varied cultural manifestations, a tradition that goes back to the early genre films of the 1920s…lending a new perspective to subjects such as violence, racism, sex and drugs, all as prevalent in modern multi-cultural liberal Berlin as they were a hundred years ago,” the director-producer said.
Added to Reel Suspects sales slate just before Berlin, Thai Anucha Boonyawatana’s Panorama player “The Blue Hour” is a gay murder mystery based on true events, marking the helmer’s feature debut. Strand Releasing has acquired U.S. rights. It turns on the friendship between Tam, a loner gay boy, and Phum whom he meets on the Internet. Phum leads Tam to commit the biggest crime of his life.
Donsaron Kovitvanitcha produces out of 185º Equator. Boonyawatana’s short “Erotic Fragments No. 1, 2, 3” was in competition at the 2012 Berlin Festival. Per Lovadina, “It’s very visual, sweet and sensitive film from an exciting first-time director.”
One of the awaited world premieres at Fantasia, given its directors origins and buzz – “Ludo” is directed by India’s Kaushik Mukherjee, professionally known as Q, helmer of docu “Love in India,” then 2011 Slamdance and Berlin Panorama playing “Gandu” – a happily transgressive” Bengali thrash-metal rap musical,” said Variety – and trippy fairytale “Tasher Desh,” helming with his editor. Rajarshi Basu (aka Nikon), in Nikon’s feature debut.
Plot has larger narrative than Q’s films to date, revolving around four teenagers who decide to spend a fateful night in the big city, hiding in a giant shopping mall where an old couple appears from nowhere who invite them to a game of ludo, which unleashes blood-lusting monsters and a ghastly curse.
“It’s one of those films which will have some spectators leaving their seats and not coming back, like Lucio Fulci at his most radical,” said Sitges Fest director Angel Sala, announcing its inclusion in October’s Sitges line-up last week.