You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Locarno: Stray Dogs Boards ‘Good Luck,’ ‘The Asteroids’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Both titles world premiere in main competition at Locarno Festival

Paris-based Stray Dogs has acquired world sales rights outside producers’ territories to Ben Russell’s “Good Luck” and Germano Maccioni’s “The Asteroids,” which both world premiere in main International Competition at Switzerland’s Locarno Festival.

Opening Wednesday Aug. 4 with Gaumont’s “Tomorrow and Every Other Day,” directed France’s Noémie Lvovsky. the Locarno Festival runs through Aug. 12.

Chicago-based artist-filmmaker Russell came to fame in 2009 with his feature debut, “Let  Each One Go Where He May,” shot in South America’s Surinam as 13 long takes. Produced by France’s KinoElektron, in co-production with Germany’s CasK Films, and backed by France’s CNC and Arte France and Germany’s Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, “Good Luck” captures in Super 16mm the work life of state employees at an 1,300-feet-deep underground copper mine in Bor, Serbia and an illegal panhandling operation in the tropical jungle of Kiki Neki, Surinam.

Crucially, Russell also retains the sequence shots. One, following three miners as they take a lift down a shaft at Bor, lasts nearly 13 minutes, five-and-a-half minutes as the elevator descends ever deeper to the mine face. Quizzed about why they do such a job, the workers’ answers are remarkably similar, though they work on opposite sides of the world.

“Good Luck’ is a hallucinatory documentary portrait of two mining communities. In a time of global economic turmoil, here is the human foundation of capital, revealed,” the synopsis runs.

“‘Good Luck’ is an immersive cinematic trip with a unique sense of time and place and strong political comment,” added Stray Dogs’ founder Nathan Fischer.

“It’s really beautiful and you see a lot about humanity in the film. It is on the arthouse side of the market, but there is a clear appetite for these films combining ethnography, politics and art,” Fischer added, noting that “we always appreciate working with multi-media artists because they have more built-in audiences and supporters, which generally translate much better in terms of festivals and digital and niche distribution.”

The fiction feature debut of Germano Maccioni, an actor-turned documentary director (“Fedele alla linea”), “The Asteroids” is a grounded crime thriller, a coming-of-age tale of three childhood friends, now teens and embroiled in petty church thefts.

Set on the monotonous plains of Emilia in Northern Italy, “The Asteroids” can also be seen as a portrait of the generational gulf between a directionless youth and their played-out parents.

One, Pietri, now studies in a desultory fashion for university exams at high school, while his mother sells their home to pay of debts from the family business. Ivan’s booze-sozzled dad wants him to take a dead-end job at a coffee capsule packaging factory. The spaced-out Cosmic, meanwhile, believes with a certain relish that an asteroid could hit the earth. Against a sense of impending doom, the prospect of a bigger job, robbing prized candelabra from a church. offers some kind of salvation for the trio, and lends “The Asteroids” a genre edge.

“‘The Asteroids’ combines the best codes and aesthetics of a classic Italian crime film with something fresher, more modern, an end of the world suggestion brought by the approach of an  asteroid, and the fact that the film is kind of coming of age,” Fischer said.

“I believe Maccioni will end up making slick crime films like the director of ‘Suburra.’ We’re also excited because it’s rare for a non-Italian sales agent to get a good Italian independent film, especially a crime film,” he added.

“The Asteroids” is produced by Italy’s Articolture and Oceans Productions, in co-production with RAI Cinema.

More Film

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

  • Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the

    Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the Movies Needed Every Inch of the Big Screen

    In the May 24 edition of The New York Times, there was a column by Timothy Egan, entitled “The Comeback of the Century: Why the Book Endures, Even in an Era of Disposable Digital Culture,” that celebrated those things that come between two hard covers as a larger phenomenon than mere nostalgia. The column keyed [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Dominates International Box Office With $121 Million

    Disney’s “Aladdin” is showing plenty of worldwide drawing power with $121 million overseas for the weekend, opening in first place in nearly all international markets. The reboot of the 1992 animated classic has received strong family attendance with a significant gain on Saturday and Sunday. China leads the way with an estimated $18.7 million for [...]

  • Aladdin

    Box Office: 'Aladdin' Taking Flight With $105 Million in North America

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” [...]

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content