Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods., RT Features Join Forces on ‘Port Authority,’ ‘Murina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Rodrigo Teixeira’s RT Features and Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods. are re-teaming to produce and finance a pair of feature debuts: Danielle Lessovitz’s “Port Authority” and Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic’s “Murina.”

RT Features launched a joint venture in 2014 with Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods. in order to discover emerging talents from around the world and produce their films.

RT Features and Sikelia Prods. had “A Ciambra” in Directors’ Fortnight last year. Other recent RT credits include Luca Guadagnino’s Oscar-winning “Call Me By Your Name” among its recent credits.

“Port Authority” is a love story set in New York’s Kiki ballroom culture. The film follows Paul, a midwestern teenager, who arrives at the central bus station and quickly catches feelings for Wye, a 22 year old girl voguing on the sidewalk. When he discovers Wye is trans, crisis occurs and he is forced to confront his own identity and what it means to belong.

“Murina” is a tense coming-of-age story set along the Adriatic Sea and tells the story of Julija, a teenage girl who decides to replace her controlling father with his wealthy foreign friend during a weekend of sailing, sensuality and violence.

“We created this venture with RT Features to amplify authentic and exciting new voices in cinema. Danielle and Antoneta fiercely embody that spirit through their singular visions,” said Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. “We are thrilled to bring their impassioned stories to cinema lovers around the world.”

Teixeira said RT Features is “always looking to work with first-time filmmakers — which we have done with now-lauded directors such as Robert Eggers on ‘The Witch’ and Geremy Jasper on ‘Patti Cake$.’ This continues to be a priority.”

Added Teixeira, “Danielle and Antoneta are two of the most exciting emerging creatives we have come across and we look forward to the world discovering them as well.”

Alamat Kusijanovic, a New York-based Croatian writer/director, developed “Murina” with support from Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation, the Jerusalem Film Lab and First Films First, with financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Center and the City of Dubrovnik.

“Murina” will be produced by Teixeira at RT Features, Scorsese and Tillinger Koskoff at Sikelia and Zdenka Gold at Spiritus Movens Prods. Lourenço Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas of RT Features will executive produce. Danijel Pek from Antitalent is on board to co-produce. The script was written by Christina Lazaridi and Alamat Kusijanovic.

“Murina” is expected to go into production in May 2019 on the Croatian Coast. Endeavor Content is representing the worldwide rights.

“Murina” marks Alamat Kusijanovic’s follow-up to the award-winning short “Into the Blue,” which won prizes at the Berlin and Sarajevo festivals, and earned a Student Academy Award nomination. Kusijanovic, who graduated from Columbia University, is repped by Hayden Goldblatt of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.

“Port Authority” was developed with creative and financial support from the Torino Film Lab, New York State Council of the Arts and France’s CNC Cinémas du Monde fund. Production will kick off in New York City this August. As previously announced, MK2 is repping the film in international markets while Endeavor Content is representing domestic rights.

The film will be produced by Rodrigo Teixeira of RT Features, Virginie Lacombe and Zachary Luke Kislevitz Madeleine Films, and Scorsese and Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions. Sant’Anna and Mas of RT Features, will exec produce with Frederic de Goldschmidt.

Lessovitz, a New York City-based writer and director, recently co-wrote Vladimir de Fontenay’s “Mobile Homes,” which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight last year. Lessovitz, who graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, is represented by André Des Rochers of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers.

Scorsese is in Cannes to receive the honorary Golden Coach award, which celebrates its 50th anniversary at the opening night of Directors’ Fortnight. As part of the tribute, “Mean Streets,” which Scorsese presented at Directors’ Fortnight in 1974, will be screened, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker.

RT Features’ slate boasts “The Lighthouse,” Eggers’ follow-up to “The Witch,” starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe (in production with A24 and New Regency); James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” starring Brad Pitt for Fox, which is now in post; and Olivier Assayas’ next film, “Wasp Network,” now in pre-production.

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