“Submergence,” a Germany-France-Spain-U.S. co-production, which screens at Toronto prior to San Sebastian, competes in the Spanish festival’s Official Section for its top Golden Shell award. The festival has announced that Wenders and Vikander will attend San Sebastian to present the film.
The films selected to open or close San Sebastian are usually crowd-pleasers. Shot in Berlin, Madrid, Toledo, and various locations in France and Djibouti, “Submergence” was penned by Erin Dignam (“The Yellow Handkerchief”), based on the novel of the same name by journalist J.M. Ledgard.
Produced by Lila 9th in the U.S., the film is co-produced with Newe Road Movies, BacKup Media Studios, Morena Films and Umedia.
McAvoy and Vikander play, respectively, hydraulic engineer James More and bio-mathematician Danielle Flinders, who meet at a remote hotel on the French coast, where both are preparing for dangerous missions.
They fall in love and soon recognize in each other the love of their lives. But when they have to separate, we find out that James works for the British Secret Service. While Danielle focuses on a project of immersion in the Greenland Sea, James is taken hostage in Somalia by Jihadist fighters.
Handled by Embankment Films, the film has been pre-bought by powerful film players in key territories, such as Lionsgate in the U.K., NFP & Warner in Germany, Mars and Selective in France, Atresmedia in Spain, Elevation in Canada and California in Latin America.
In Spain, the film will bow on a still undisclosed date, distributed by Entertainment One Films Spain.
German filmmaker, screenwriter and producer Wenders has worked over the last decades in both the U.S. and Europe, with standout titles such as “The State of Things” (1982), which won a Golden Lion in Venice; “Paris-Texas” (1984), a Palme d’Or winner at Cannes; plus documentaries “Buena Vista Social Club” (1999), which garnered awards at the Seattle, New York and Los Angeles festivals, and “Salt of the Earth” (2014), co-helmed with Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, which took a Cannes Un Certain Regard Special Prize and Audience Award at San Sebastian.
Sweden’s Vikander won the 2015 Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in “The Danish Girl,” and will be seen as Lara Croft in next year’s installment of “Tomb Raider.” Scottish actor McAvoy, the star of Kevin Mcdonald’s “The Last King of Scotland” and M. Night Shyalaman’s “Split,” plays a young Charles Xavier in three titles of the “X-Men” saga.
The soundtrack of “Submergence,” composed by Fernando Velázquez (“A Monster Calls,” “The Impossible”), features the Basque National Symphony Orchestra.
The 65th edition of the San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival runs Sept. 22-30.