WB nabs ‘Siberia’

AMSTERDAM — In a move that confirms the company’s intentions to play a far more active role in the local film scene, Warner Bros. Holland has acquired all Benelux rights to Dutch helmer Robert Jan Westdijk’s “Siberia.” Westdijk’s 1995 feature film debut, “Zusje” (Little Sister), was sold to 18 territories, after collecting 11 international awards.

Shooting on location in Amsterdam until the end of the month, the film follows the adventures of two friends whose main occupation consists of befriending and subsequently robbing female backpackers from around the world. When they meet a Russian tourist named Lara, however, life for the two boys changes drastically. Sharing the major roles are Roeland Fernhout (“Little Sister), Hugo Metsers (“Wasted”) and newcomer Croatian actress Vlatka Simac.

The $1 million budget was brought together through private investment and sponsorship, as well as support from the Dutch Film Fund and local broadcasters. With no need for additional financing, producer Clea de Koning said that an international sales agent will be appointed when the film is ready for delivery.

The acquisition of “Siberia” by Warner Bros.’ Amsterdam office follows the recent appointment of Dirk de Lille as the local general manager of Warner Bros. Intl. Theatrical Distribution.

A Dutch theatrical release for “Siberia” is scheduled for mid-1998.

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