The project reunites Polunin with Oscar-nominated Steven Cantor after the pair’s work on earlier feature documentary “Dancer.” The new film follows Polunin’s inauguration as a choreographer with his “Satori” project.
Polunin, once described as the “bad boy of ballet,” quit the Royal Ballet in London in 2012 after having been its youngest-ever principal dancer.
He has created Project Polunin, which creates works for stage and film, and has acted in movies including Rudolf Nureyev biopic “The White Crow” and Kenneth Branagh’s remake of “Murder on the Orient Express.”
As with “Dancer,” WestEnd Films has boarded worldwide sales on “Satori.” The London-based sales, production and finance outfit will introduce the film, which is in production, to buyers at AFM. “Dancer” sold to 25 territories, including to IFC/Sundance Selects in the U.S. and Dogwoof in the U.K.
Gabrielle Tana (“Philomena”) is producing with Jamie Schutz and Cantor. “Gabrielle and I were thrilled with the worldwide reception that ‘Dancer’ received and have continued to chronicle Sergei’s trajectory as a complex and enigmatic but ultimately breathtaking talent and young man,” Cantor said. “Where ‘Dancer’ looked at his whole life, family and influences, ‘Satori’ will focus more squarely on his creative process as performer and, for the first time ever, choreographer.”
WestEnd said “Satori” would peel away the layers of one of ballet’s most intriguing stars. Managing director Maya Amsellem said that “Dancer” had appealed “not only to Sergei’s fans but also to a wider audience,” and added that “there’s a strong appetite from the public to see what comes next for Sergei Polunin, which is what ‘Satori’ will unveil.”
“Satori” lines up on the WestEnd’s AFM slate alongside films including Ben Lewin’s “Falling for Figaro,” which stars Danielle Macdonald and Joanna Lumley, and “Incitement,” Israel’s Academy Award submission, a movie about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin that will have a market screening at AFM.