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Busan: ‘Teacher’ Provides Lesson, Sells Widely for LevelK (EXCLUSIVE)

Providing the lesson that quality drama can still be a winning format, East European picture “The Teacher” has become a sales success for LevelK.

Since the film’s debut at the Karlovy Vary festival in July, Denmark-based LevelK has signed up distributors in some 50 territories.

Directed by Jan Hrebejk, the film had its Asian premiere in the Busan Film Festival this week almost simultaneously with its U.S. debut at the Hamptons. Later this month it will travel to the Tokyo IFF.

Buyers have included: Sinema TV (for Turkey,) Palace Films (Australia and New Zealand,) Bodega Films (France and Switzerland,) Kino Pasaka (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,) Four Corners/September Film (The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg,) Rosebud 21 (Greece) Lev Films (Israel,) Satine Films (Italy) Aurora Films (Poland,) Karma Films (Spain,) Fidalgo (Norway,) Catchplay (Taiwan,) Encore Inflight (Hong Kong,) and Slovenia RTV (Slovenia.)

The Teacher” is based on the autobiographical experiences of screenwriter Petr Jarchovsky and stars Zuzana Maurery and Peter Bebjak. The story sees school officials turn against a newly arrived woman teacher after a series of incidents. But the teacher’s political connections mean that parents and the school principal must take a considerable risk.

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The film was produced as a Slovakian/Czech co-production by experienced producers Zuzana Mistríkova and L’ubica Orechovska for Slovakia’s PubRes and Ondrej Zima and Jan Prusinovsky for Czech’s Offside MEN. Its Euros 860,000 budget was supplemented by finance from the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the State Cinematography Fund.

It enjoyed a national theatrical release on July 21 through Forum Film Slovakia amassing 60,000 admissions to date.

LevelK is based in Denmark, and has opened offices in New York and Hong Kong. Derek Lui, in the Hong Kong office, was recently promoted to president of sales. His responsibilities include Asian, North American, Australian, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian markets.

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