ROME – L.A.-based distributor Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to Greek writer-director Elina Psykou’s coming-of-age drama “Son of Sofia” which won the Best International Narrative Feature prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
Psykou’s fable-like tale of a Russian-born adolescent forced to relocate to Athens with his mother and her new Greek husband had its Greek premiere at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival this week, ahead of its local release Nov. 30 via Athens-based arthouse distributor One From the Heart.
Set during the 2004 Summer Olympics, the film “immerses itself in its protagonist’s unreal headspace, where fantasies about animals, murder and his mother portentously commingle,” Variety’s review said, adding that “even when it fails to completely cohere, Psykou’s film is never less than unique.” “Son of Sofia” has also won prizes at the Sarajevo and Los Angeles Greek film fests.
It is the second feature from Psykou, who was named by Variety in 2013 as one of “10 European directors to watch” on the strength of her debut feature, “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas.” That film is about an aging morning talk-show host who stages his own kidnapping in order to pay off debts and orchestrate an elaborate comeback.
Gravitas Ventures releases about 400 new titles every year and has a library of more than 2,000 titles that it distributes across hundreds of platforms worldwide. The company founded by Nolan Gallagher, Michael Murphy and Brendan Gallagher has just been acquired by Red Arrow Entertainment, the Munich-based content arm of German broadcast giant ProSiebenSat.1. Other recent Gravitas acquisitions include sci-fi thriller “Alien Invasion: S.U.M.1,” which stars “Game of Thrones” actor Iwan Rheon.
The North American deal for “Son of Sofia” was negotiated by Ioanna Stais on behalf of Heretic Outreach and Josh Spector on behalf of Gravitas.
In a separate deal, Heretic has also sold TV and VOD rights to “Son of Sofia” to HY Media for mainland China.
Heretic Outreach, which handles sales and international distribution of films from southeastern Europe, is headed by Greek producers Giorgos Karnavas and Kostantinos Kontovrakis.