Momentum Pictures plans to “Escape From Pretoria.” It has taken North American distribution rights to the movie, which stars Daniel Radcliffe as a political prisoner attempting to break out from a maximum security South African jail. Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Films did the U.S. deal and is continuing sales efforts at Cannes, with new footage from the film in hand.
Radcliffe appears alongside Australian actor Daniel Webber (“The Dirt”). The pair play freedom fighters Tim Jenkin and Stephen Lee, who were jailed in 1978 for being involved in covert anti-apartheid operations. Ian Hart (“God’s Own Country”), Mark Leonard Winter (“Cleverman”) and Nathan Page (“Underbelly”) also star.
Based on a true story, the film follows Jenkin and Lee – joined by a fellow inmate – as they decide to escape from prison. After months of planning, and in a race against time as the authorities strengthen the prison’s security, they craft wooden keys for the numerous steel doors between them and freedom. Directed by Francis Annan, it is based on Jenkin’s autobiography “Inside Out: Escape From Pretoria Prison.” Annan co-wrote the screenplay with LH Adam.
Momentum will release the film theatrically in the U.S. and Canada. The deal was negotiated by John Fremes and Michelle Krumm on behalf of Arclight, and Dylan Wilcox for Momentum Pictures, which is an eOne company.
“We are excited to partner with Arclight again on this incredible true story,” said Ian Goggins, senior VP, content, at Entertainment One. “We are looking forward to working with the Arclight team, the filmmakers, and of course, Daniel Radcliffe, once more to bring ‘Escape From Pretoria’ to audiences.”
“’Escape from Pretoria’ is an extraordinary and timely story that deserves to be shared with audiences. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Momentum team once again who previously released our film ‘Jungle,’ which also starred Daniel Radcliffe,” said Arclight chairman Gary Hamilton.
The film is an Australia-U.K. co-production between Hamilton Entertainment, BeaglePug, Footprint Films and Enriched Media Group. Arclight’s Hamilton and Krumm, Footprint Films’ Mark Blaney and Jackie Sheppard produce with BeaglePug’s David Barron, who produced several “Harry Potter” movies.
Arclight has already sealed deals with KSM for Germany, Top Film for the CIS region, Inopia Films in Spain, Spentzos for Greece, Front Row Entertainment for the Middle East, Logo Motion Pictures for Thailand, Vietnam’s Galaxy Studio and Viswaas for India.