“Equals” has run up key major territory sales before it world premieres in competition Sept. 5 at the Venice Film Festival. Pic is being sold by Mister Smith Entertainment, and is directed by Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Drake Doremus (“Like Crazy”) and stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult.
Stewart and Hoult will be attendance for the pic’s bow Sept. 5 in what will be one of the Lido’s highest-wattage bows.
Produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and Los Angeles’ Route One Films, “Equals” has closed U.K. with Icon Film Distribution, Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia, Selective Films/Orange in France and Italy’s Adler Entertainment. Lucky Red will handle distribution for Adler. Brought onto the international market at 2014’s Cannes, the forbidden love story was reported to have racked up 35 territory deals off a first flurry of pre-sales.
Set in a futuristic utopia where emotions have been eradicated, Stewart and Hoult play Nia and Silas, two young lovers who suffer a syndrome that puts them in touch with their feelings. Enjoying their newfound but outlawed intimacy, but fearing consignment to a correction facility, their only option is escape.
Nathan Parker, who penned the Duncan Jones debut “Moon,” wrote the screenplay.
“It’s immensely stylish, has a very distinctive voice to it,” said Mister Smith topper David Garrett of the film which used locations in Japan and Singapore for their futuristic architecture and lush greenery.
“Equals” will segue from Venice to Toronto, where it screens as a Special Presentation. UTA Independent Film Group, which arranged financing for “Equals,” is selling North American rights.
At Toronto, Mister Smith will also sell “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” co-repped for domestic by CAA , and Claude Lelouche’s “Un Plus Une.” All are looking for U.S. deals.
Regarding “Equals,” “having a film in both Venice and Toronto gives a film a certain sheen, a veneer: It says it’s a serious movie but also for a wider audience,” Garrett said.