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Serbian Trucking Thriller ‘The Load’ Bought by Grasshopper Films (EXCLUSIVE)

Grasshopper Film has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the thriller “The Load,” the debut feature from filmmaker Ognjen Glavonića, Variety has learned exclusively.

“The Load,” which debuted at the Directors Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival in May, centers on a truck driver hired to deliver a mysterious cargo across a dangerous, war-torn landscape. “The Load” will receive a theatrical release next year, followed by home video and VOD.

The story takes place during the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. To transport the mysterious load from Kosovo to Belgrade, the central character must drive through unfamiliar territory and try to make his way in a country scarred by war.

Jessica Kiang said in her review for Variety: “It is in the very banality of this day in the life of a Serbian trucker that this impressive new filmmaker illuminates a painful truth that inculpates more of us than we’d like to believe: Ignorance of atrocity, whether it’s an effort of will like Vlada’s, or inadvertent like the younger generation’s, does not make you innocent of it.”

Ryan Krivoshey, president of Grasshopper, said, “Something like a cross between ‘Wages of Fear’ and the bleak, post-apocalyptic reality of a Bela Tarr film, Ognjen Glavonić’s debut feature is nothing short of a revelation. We can’t wait for audiences to see this film.”

Glavonić was born in 1985 in Yugoslavia. His short films have been selected for more than 50 international film festivals. “Zivan Makes a Punk Festival,” his first documentary, had its premiere at Cinéma du Réel.

The deal was negotiated by Krivoshey with Jan Naszweski of New Europe Film Sales. Grasshopper’s recent releases include João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa’s “Araby,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Nocturama,” Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet’s 50th anniversary restoration of “Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach” and Feras Fayyad’s Academy Award-nominated documentary “Last Men in Aleppo.”

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