×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Locarno: Luxbox Acquires Golden Leopard Contender ‘By the Time It Gets Dark’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Second feature by Anocha Suwichakornpong inspired in part by Thailand's 1976 student massacre

Paris-based sales company Luxbox has acquired world sales rights to “Dao Khanong” (“By the Time It Gets Dark”), the second feature by Thai director-writer-producer Anocha Suwichakornpong, who impressed with her 2009 debut “Mundane History.”

Written by Suwichakornpong, a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program, “By the Time It Gets Dark” will world-premiere in Locarno’s main competitive section, its International Competition, where it will compete for Locarno’s top Golden Leopard prize.

The deal on “By the Time It Gets Dark” marks out Luxbox, a nearly new sales outfit launched last October by Hedi Zardi and Fiorella Moretti, as one of the most active companies acquiring titles in the run-up to Locarno. Earlier this month, Luxbox took world sales rights to Swiss Michael Koch’s debut feature “Marija.”

Inspired in part by the 1976 Thamassat University student massacre, perpetrated by government and right-wing paramilitary forces, “By the Time It Gets Dark” melds individual fiction characters and a broader sense of Thai history. In it, a film director attempts to make a film about the massacre, aided by her muse, a student activist in the 1970s. Other stories, which loosely connect, involve a waitress who is forever changing jobs, and an actor and an actress.

Mixing “reality and dreams” and “different layers of time and space,” Suwichakornpong questions the possibility of “making nowadays a historical film about an untold chapter in the history of her country,” Moretti and Zardi said in a statement, adding they were “impressed by the poetry of her ode to cinema.”

“By the Time It Gets Dark” is produced by, among others, Suwichakornpong and Soros Sukhum, one of the most prolific of indie Thai producers, whose credits include Aditya Assarat’s “Wonderful Town,” “Mundane History” and Kongdej Jaturanrasamee’s “Snap.” Electric Eel Films produces out of Thailand; Survivance co-produces out of France. The films drew financing from the Rotterdam Festival’s Hubert Bals Fund and the Doha Film Institute.

With established directors often holding down relationships with established sellers, it is natural for new sales agents to link with newer directors. This has already paid off for Luxbox as it drives into world cinema titles. “Hedi,” the debut of Tunisia’s Mohamed Ben Attia, won the 2016 Berlinale’s Best Actor (Majd Mastoura) and Best First Feature Award. “Mimosas,” the second feature from Spain’s Oliver Laxe, took Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prix.

Luxbox is also representing “Jeanette,” the new film from veteran Bruno Dumont, which will be ready for delivery in 2017.

More Film

  • Steve James Chicago Story

    Participant Media Partners With Filmmaker Steve James on Documentary 'Chicago Story' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Participant Media is reteaming with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Steve James and his longtime production home, Kartemquin Films, on his latest documentary, “Chicago Story.” Participant Media will finance the project, which will be produced by James and Zak Piper. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann will executive produce with Alex Kotlowitz and Gordon Quinn. James, Piper, and [...]

  • 'Metro 2033' Film Project Halted Because

    'Metro 2033' Film Project Halted Because 'A Lot of Things Didn't Work'

    It appears that MGM’s film adaptation of “Metro 2033” is no longer happening because “a lot of things didn’t work,” according to VG24/7. “Metro 2033” is a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was also adapted into a series of successful survival horror shooters from video game publisher THQ and developer 4A Games in [...]

  • Jirga

    Film Review: 'Jirga'

    Buried within the closing crawl of writer, director, cinematographer and co-producer Benjamin Gilmour’s unfortunately cryptic but nonetheless fascinating debut film “Jirga” are shout-outs for security, political and cultural liaisons, as well as an Afghan film advisor. These credits speak, however quietly, to the no-doubt-delicate and clearly arduous making of a film that finds a guilt-ridden [...]

  • Fox Names Benjamin Bach Theatrical MD

    Fox Names Benjamin Bach MD for Germany, Replacing Vincent  De La Tour

    Twentieth Century Fox has upped Benjamin Bach to managing director, theatrical, for Austria and Germany. In Germany he takes over from the long-serving Vincent de la Tour who is leaving after 27 years. Bach has been MD of Fox’s operations in Austria since 2012 and he steps into his new, expanded, role immediately. He will [...]

  • Lois Smith

    Wes Anderson's 'The French Dispatch' Adds Lois Smith (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lois Smith has joined the cast of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” Variety has learned. It continues a late-career resurgence for the 88-year-old stage and screen actress. Smith was nominated for a Gotham and Independent Spirit Award for her work in last year’s “Marjorie Prime,” a role that garnered her some of the best reviews [...]

  • Stephan James as Fonny and Brian

    Brian Tyree Henry Breaks Out Big in Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

    The final days of filming writer-director Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” were dedicated to moments that foreshadowed its entire plot: Having run into the recently incarcerated Daniel (Brian Tyree Henry) on the streets of Harlem, the struggling artist Fonny (Stephan James) invites his friend back to his apartment for [...]

  • Dylan O'Brien, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett,

    Travis Knight on Getting the Call to Direct ‘Bumblebee’: ‘Did You Guys Get The Right Number?’

    “Bumblebee” director Travis Knight admits he couldn’t believe it when Paramount Studios and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura called him two years ago, asking him to helm the upcoming “Transformers” movie. “My initial question was, ‘Did you guys get the right number?'” Knight joked at Sunday’s premiere of “Bumblebee” at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. “You’ve seen [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content