×

Wide Management Boards ‘Negative Numbers’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Georgia's Uta Beria directs a story about rehabilitation via rugby produced by Alief LLC and Magnet Studio

Marking its first international co-production, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide Management has boarded the Georgian prison-rugby drama “Negative Numbers,” signing on to co-produce with Brett Walker and Miguel Govea of Tbilisi-based Alief LLC and David Isakadze at Tbilisi’s Magnet Studio.

Wide will also serve as the sales agent on “Negative Numbers.” When it is completed, Magneron aims to put it through Eye on Films (EoF), the festival and distribution-support program for first and second features, backed by the E.U.’s Media Mundus program.

The first feature from Georgian screenwriter-director Uta Beria, “Negative Numbers” is set in Georgia in the early years of the last decade, when an economic crisis pushed many of the country’s out-of-work young into petty crime, which saw them ending up in juvenile detention centers.

“Negative Numbers” is based on the true story of a juvenile detention center in Tbilisi where two ex-professional rugby players took up the challenge to help these young offenders by bringing rugby into the center. While training the young inmates, they wrote down their stories, which inspired the film.

In the film, Nica, the teen authority among his fellow inmates, having taken the rap for a crime committed by his older brother, is instructed by his sibling to organize a riot at the detention center. This would destroy the chances of the inmates playing their first rugby match, which could lead to more games outside the center. Nica hesitates between loyalty to his brother and rugby, which offers the young inmates some form of self-respect and, through it, rehabilitation.

“Dignity and respect are among the most important concepts in rugby, which comes into conflict with the system operating among the inmates, based on oppression and hate,” Beria has said.

“Negative Numbers” is scheduled to go into production from late summer, shooting at the old Tbilisi state prison, said Walker, who now lives in Tbilisi.

“Negative Numbers” has received financial support from the Georgian National Film Center, a driving force behind the development of Georgian cinema this decade, as well as technical guidance from the Georgian Rugby Union.

Magneron said he had been attracted by the story and by writer-director Beria, “a real auteur with an arthouse film which has key elements that will offer strong marketing angles.”

Magneron added that Georgia is “not a very-well known country but has a really strong culture and cinema history.”

The Wide Management founder has previously backed, mainly by equity investment, documentary films by his father, Jean-Luc Magneron, who has had “Mai 68,” and “Mumbo Jumbo” at Cannes. Magneron also produced Jacky Katu’s feature film “4.48”; Wide is currently producing his new film, “Crazy in Love,” and is the rights holder on Jafar Panahi’s “This Is Not a Film.”

But “this is my first real, classic co-production,” said Magneron.

Acquired by sales company Jinga in a deal announced at December’s Ventana Sur, Alief’s genre auteur horror feature “Our Evil,” from Brazilian director Samuel Galli, screened at this year’s European Film Market in Berlin.

More Film

  • Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

    Film Review: 'TINY: The Life of Erin Blackwell'

    “Streetwise,”  the classic and haunting 1984 documentary about homeless street kids in Seattle, is a movie that’s now 35 years old. But for anyone who has seen it, the children it’s about — drifters, hustlers, squatters, thieves, prostitutes — remain frozen in time. And none of them was ever more memorable than Tiny, the 14-year-old [...]

  • Animation Studio Fire

    Revenge Motive May Have Sparked Kyoto Animation Arson Attack

    Japanese media is speculating that revenge was the motivation for the arson attack on Kyoto Animation which killed 33 people on Thursday. Investigative sources quoted by Jiji Press on Friday said that the man in custody had a grudge against the studio. “Since [the studio] stole my novel, I poured out the liquid and set [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate Gabriel Luna

    'Terminator: Dark Fate' Cast Proud of Latinx Representation in Latest Installment

    The stars of the Tim Miller-directed “Terminator: Dark Fate” stormed the stage of San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H on Thursday, but it wasn’t until after the panel — which included appearances from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton — that Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna and Diego Boneta reflected on what makes the upcoming installment in the [...]

  • It

    Producer Sues Warner Bros. Over 'It' Film Adaptations

    A producer who developed the original “It” TV miniseries sued Warner Bros. on Thursday, alleging the studio breached his contract by making the films “It” and “It Chapter Two” without him. Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky were running Telepictures in the early 1980s when they acquired the rights to the Stephen King novel. They developed [...]

  • Animation Studio Fire

    Kyoto Arson Attack: Animation Community Mourns Colleagues

    Thursday’s deadly attack on Japan’s Kyoto Animation studios left many in the animation community shocked and horrified by the loss of 33 of their colleagues. Another 36 people were injured in the attack, which was Japan’s deadliest ever. A suspect was arrested after pouring a flammable liquid inside the building, which caught fire and trapped [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's '10 Double Zero' Completes Financing

    In today’s film news roundup, financing has been secured for a Nicolas Cage police drama, feature drama “Topside” is unveiled and the late Tom Snyder is getting a tribute from his daughter. FINANCING COMPLETED DCR Finance Corp. has signed a deal to complete the financing for Nicolas Cage’s upcoming crime drama “10 Double Zero.” The [...]

  • Matt Damon and Tom McCarthy Team

    Matt Damon Teams with 'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy on New Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even as buzz grows for his upcoming race car drama “Ford v. Ferrari,” Matt Damon looks to keep the pedal to the metal: the A-lister is set to star in the Participant Media feature film “Stillwater” with Tom McCarthy directing. Damon attached himself in May, and the package was quickly acquired by Participant, who previously [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content