Beta Cinema’s war effort has paid off with a raft of global deals for Benedikt Erlingsson’s “Woman at War.” The Cannes Critics’ Week entry has been acquired by Pandora for Germany and Austria, Teodora for Italy, Avalon for Spain, Scanbox for Sweden, Norway, and Finland, and Imagine for Benelux.
Further afield, Beta has sealed a China deal with Huanxi. In Australasia it has been acquired by Hi Gloss Entertainment/Limelight Distribution. The Icelandic picture had already been taken by Magnolia for North America and Picturehouse for the U.K., meaning that Beta Cinema has sold one of its key Cannes titles to most major territories.
“Woman at War” is Erlingsson’s second film after the critically acclaimed “Of Horses and Men.” It tells the story of a middle-aged woman, Halla, played by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, and her mission to protect the highlands of Iceland. Her environmental quest and efforts to take on big business are complicated by her attempts to adopt an orphan who enters her life.
The movie was well-received at Cannes. “A delightful follow-up to ‘Of Horses and Men’ about a modest environmental activist determined to bring down heavy industry one electric pylon at a time,” Variety said in its review. It added that “Woman at War” is “an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice.”
The film is produced by Slot Machine and Gulldrengurinn. Erlingsson and Ólafur Egill Egilsson (“Trapped”) wrote the screenplay.
Other international deals have been inked with Filmcoopi in Switzerland, Scanorama in the Baltics, M2 in Poland, and Cirko in Hungary. Demiurg has acquired it for the former Yugoslavia, Transilvania Film for Romania, Weird Wave for Greece, and filmarti for Turkey.
Beta has also closed China and Hungary deals on another of its Cannes films, the Un Certain Regard title “The Gentle Indifference of the World.” From Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov, it follows two young lovers forced to leave the countryside for the big city in an attempt to save one of their mothers from jail. Huanxi has acquired it for China and Cirko for Hungary.