×

Wide Sells Banner Swiss Feature ‘Wonderland’ to Germany, France (EXCLUSIVE)

10-part political sci-fi omnibus delivers a sometimes-scathing portrait of modern-day Switzerland

GUADALAJARA – Paris-based Wide, headed by Loic Magneron, has licensed Germany and Austria on “Heimatland” (“Wonderland”) having already closed France on a calling card for the talents and dissidence of an up-and-coming generation of Swiss filmmakers.

Stefan Paul’s Arsenal Filmverleih, a classic German arthouse distributor and buyer of “Ida” and “Timbuktu,” has acquired both Germany and Austria. In France, the other key territory for art films, and especially if part-shot in French as “Wonderland,” Arnaud Kerneguez’s Kanibal will release “Wonderland” in Gallic theaters this April.

“We are happy that these strong distributors have decided to bring this original approach to collective cinema to theaters in their countries, trusting that this very contemporary subject will resonate with audiences all around Europe,” said Wide founder Loïc Magneron.

Wide has also begun to mop up smaller territories, with Uzengyia taking theatrical for Macedonia.

Enshrining the broad mix of genre and social or political issues, which has become a rallying film style for many young filmmakers in countries with multiple causes for complaint – think Latin America – but transferring the mix to a supposed paragon of peace and local democracy in the heart of Europe, “Wonderland” unspools as a storm of potentially catastrophic storm gathers over Switzerland and its borders closed. Interweaving 10 human stories, and building as a critique-strewn parable of Swiss traits and history, the omnibus feature is directed and written by Lisa Blattner, Gregor Frei, Jan Gassmann, Benny Jaberg, Carmen Jaquier, Michael Krummenacher, Jonas Meier, Tobias Noelle, Lionel Rupp, Mike Scheiwiller. Of the 10, only four – Gassmann, Krummenacher, Jaberg, Rupp – have released a feature.

A production of Bern-based Contrast Film and 2:1 Film in Zurich and Munich-based Passanten Film, “Wonderland” world premiered at August’s Locarno Festival.

“Switzerland does a great job of still selling and promoting itself to the world as a clean, rich, safe and friendly country. But if you look closely at it, much has changed these last years, both on the economic and political level,” said Contrast producers Ivan Madeo and Stefan Eichenberger.

“Our old Swiss ideologies – like hospitality, solidarity, and respect – have melted away under the pressure of ruthless multinational companies and increasing scare tactics of the political right. These are forces that still rely on a safe Switzerland from foreign parts, but what they’re making out of this country is not Switzerland anymore,” they added.

The sales announcement comes as Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival screens a broad panorama of Swiss films – live-action features, documentaries and shorts – as part of its tribute to Switzerland as its guest country of honor. Driving hard into Swiss films, Wide represents three features: “Wonderland,” “Dora or the Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents,” about the sexual awakening of a mentally disabled girl, and Lionel Baier’s euthanasia dramedy “Vanity.”

 

More Film

  • Myst Computer Game

    'Myst' Film and TV Rights Sell to Village Roadshow

    “Myst,” the influential video game that helped usher in the CD-ROM era, may inspire an ambitious multi-platform film and television universe. Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, the Australian-American co-producer and co-financier of the “Matrix” and “Sherlock Holmes” franchises, has acquired the rights to the first-person graphic adventure. For those born post-90s, “Myst” was wildly popular and [...]

  • ‘Half-Sister’ Director Damjan Kozole on Compassion,

    ‘Half-Sister’ Director Damjan Kozole on Compassion, Learning From the Past

    Two estranged half-siblings from a small coastal town in Slovenia spend the better part of their young lives ignoring each other’s existence. But when circumstances force them to move into the same cramped apartment, they have no choice but to come to terms with the past that binds them, while trying to decide how to [...]

  • The Traitor

    MMC Studios, One of Germany's Biggest Production Facilities, Changes Hands

    Germany’s MMC Studios, which has hosted such recent international productions as Joseph Gordon-Levitt thriller “7500” and Marco Bellocchio’s Cannes competition film “The Traitor,” is changing hands. Frankfurt-based investment company Novum Capital has acquired the facility in Cologne, one of Germany’s biggest film and TV studios, from Luxembourg private equity fund Lenbach Equity Opportunities I. The [...]

  • Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' Kicks

    Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' Kicks Off Tuesday With Solid $3.5 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Annabelle Comes Home” collected a strong $3.5 million in Tuesday night previews. The supernatural thriller is expected to earn $30 million over its first five days in theaters. “Annabelle Comes Home” is the third “Annabelle” movie and seventh entry in the Conjuring franchise. Preview ticket sales are in line with [...]

  • Naomi Watts Thriller 'The Wolf Hour'

    Naomi Watts Thriller 'The Wolf Hour' Picked Up for U.S. by Brainstorm Media

    “The Wolf Hour,” a psychological thriller starring Naomi Watts and Jennifer Ehle, has been picked up for North America by Brainstorm Media. HanWay Films has also closed sales for a host of European and Asian territories. Directed by Alistair Banks Griffin, “The Wolf Hour” features Oscar-nominated Watts as June, a former countercultural celebrity who lives [...]

  • A Star Is Born

    'A Star Is Born' Soundtrack Surpasses Global Sales of 6 Million

    Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s onscreen chemistry continues to be felt on the official soundtrack to “A Star is Born,” which just surpassed 6 million albums sold globally and has been certified double platinum in the U.S. Released by Interscope Records in 2018, the album debuted atop the charts and remains the highest-selling album of [...]

  • monty-python-are-fifty-in-2019

    Previously Unreleased Monty Python Audio to Get Airing for Troupe's 50th Anniversary

    Michael Palin will exec-produce series of radio specials containing never-before-released audio from Monty Python as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the iconic comedy troupe. They will play on the BBC in the U.K. and then go out in the U.S. Palin and his fellow Pythons – John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content