×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin: XYZ Takes ‘Preservation,’ Directed by ‘Home Movie’s’ Christopher Denham

L.A. based producer/sales agent adds to strong Berlin genre slate

Adding to one of the most arresting slates of elevated genre titles heading into next week’s Berlin European Film Market, XYZ Films has acquired world sales rights to horror/thriller “Preservation,” from writer-director-actor Christopher Denham.

Wrenn Schmidt (“Boardwalk Empire”) Aaron Staton (“Mad Men”) and Pablo Schreiber (HBO’s “The Brink,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Orange is the New Black”) comprise the key cast.

A sustained white-knuckler, “Preservation” turns on Wit (Schmidt), an anesthesiologist who sets out on a hunting expedition to a forest preserve with her husband (Staton), a hedge fund manager, and her ex-marine brother, Sean (Schreiber). When both are captured, Wit has to unleash her animal instincts to avoid being the next prey. Present Pictures’ Jennifer Dubin and Cora Olson produce; Certainty Fims’ Connie Cummings and Anne Renton exec produce.

Known as an actor for roles in “Argo,” which won him a SAG Award for ensemble performance, and “Shutter Island,” Denham’s directorial debut, “Home Movie,” won best new director at the Sitges Festival plus a Silver Audience Award at the Toronto After Dark Festival. He also co-wrote “Area 51,” Oren Peli’s follow-up as a director to “Paranormal Activity.”

“Chris has crafted a stylish and incredibly suspenseful piece of storytelling that takes the genre conventions and turns them inside out,” said XYZ Films.

“With memorable performances that stand out as some of the best we’ve seen in a long time, we’re proud to collaborate with such a clever filmmaker.”

Dubin added: “We’ve been fans of his script for a long time and are over the moon to have had the opportunity to produce this movie with Certainty Films.  We’re thrilled to partner with XYZ at this stage to bring this movie and Chris’ unique voice to the market.  We think it’s going to turn some heads.”

“Preservation’s” cinematographer, Nicola B. Marsh, also shot this year’s Oscar-nommed documentary “20 Feet From Stardom.”

At Berlin, XYZ Films will sell a mix of well-received Sundance titles – “The Raid 2,” “Killers,” which is co-directed by Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel, and Sundance competition entry “Life After Beth” – plus two new acquisitions: Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” and Maori actioner “The Dead Lands.”

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content