London-based Kaleidoscope Film Distribution has scored a flurry of deals on Spaniard Daniel H. Torrado’s horror thriller “COVID 21: Lethal Virus,” which market premieres at the Malaga Festival’s Spanish Screenings online showcase.
Recent deals inked by Kaleidoscope, who manages “COVID 21” worldwide rights outside Spain, take in a pan-Asian agreement with The Walt Disney Company, a Scandinavian rights sale to Danish indie distributor Mis. Label, and a Korean deal with NK Contents. Meanwhile, Vendetta Films has taken Australian and New Zealand rights.
Pacts for North American and Germany are currently under negotiations.
“COVID 21” is set in a broken world still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, where a mutated new super virus threatens to destroy the remnants of mankind.
When civilization is hit with the outbreak of a new lethal virus, the results are swift, chaotic, and deadly, throwing the world into further crisis.
With the last hopes for a cure pinned on brilliant young scientist, Allyson, the military are given one final mission: to deliver Allyson to her laboratory at all costs. It’s a duty undertaken without hesitation.
Yet as the pandemic intensifies, and their progress, numbers, and optimism start to dwindle, the group find themselves struggling not only with the infected population, but with a sombre dilemma: Does humanity truly deserve to be saved?
A Virtual World Pictures and World Real Games Spanish production, in collaboration with Canary Film Factory, “COVID 21” started production in 2019. Lensing was temporarily interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent confinement. During the quarantine period, some improvised scenes were filmed in Spanish cities’ empty streets.
“We watched in amazement as the script was becoming reality before our eyes. During filming, we also suffered climate change, in the form of unexpected snowfalls and torrential rains, but we decided to take advantage of the setbacks turning them to our favor, adapting the scenes and including snowfall sequences of great visual beauty,” writer-director Daniel Hernández Torrado told Variety.
“The aim of the film is to entertain with a good dose of action and suspense while we warn about the dangers of climate change and the need for a more caring society,” he added.
According to Kaleidoscope CEO, Spencer Pollard, “there is a consistent appetite for elevated genre titles, and particularly for the horror genre.”
He added: “A smart film like this that balances original and engaging characterization with great action and horror set pieces is always going to find a home. The film title has also obviously been an eye catching selling point.”
Thesps Christian Stam (“Westworld,” “Malnazidos”), Loretta Hope (“Barren,” “Hexagon”), Ramón Álvarez (“Justice League,” “Jurassic World”) and Tomás Paredes (“Maleficent,” “El Cid”) topline the film, penned by Torrado alongside Diego de la Concepción, Nerea Bermúdez and Carlos Sisi.
“I think that climate change should be a central concern due to the enormous consequences that it entails in the life of our society, it cannot be ruled out that a next pandemic is due to our lack of attention to our planet. COVID-21 is intended to be a warning about future threats looming over us,” Torrado said.
Virtual World Pictures is already preparing the second part of “COVID-21.” Meanwhile, the company is developing new projects such as “Virtual: The Hologames,” which will be pitched by Torrado at December’s Ventana Sur Blood Window sidebar, at the proposal of The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
“COVID 21” is available for online access to buyers as a market premiere at the Spanish Screenings-Málaga de Cine showcase, which runs Nov. 17-20.