Paris-based Axxon Films has picked up international rights to Imanol Rayo’s thriller “Death Knell” and Mireia Gabilondo’s comedy “The Hive,” two very different titles set in and produced by Spain’s Basque region.
Based on Miren Gorrotxategi’s novel “33 campanadas,” and produced by Abra Producciones in association with EITB, “Death Knell” centers on the discovery of human remains at a family farm. Fermin and Karmen call their son Nestor, who reports the matter to the authorities. When they turn up, however, the bones are gone. In the course of the police investigation, long dormant secrets are dredged up.
The film, which premiered at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival in its prestigious New Directors section, is Rayo’s sophomore feature after 2011’s “Bi anai.”
Long buried secrets also rise to the surface to plague a group of childhood friends who get together in a country house to celebrate a bachelorette party in “The Hive,” produced by Acrónica and Tentazioa.
Likewise a second feature for Gabilondo, the film, an adaptation of Kepa Arresti’s play “Enjambre” (“Hive”), follows the party as it grows from a fun get-together into an increasingly unhinged gathering as the friends begin to vent dirty laundry and emotional baggage.
Axxon’s Ventana Sur lineup also includes Colombian helmer Cesar Herdia’s “Salvador,” which on Monday won the best director award at Mexico’s Mérida y Yucatán Film Festival. Set in 1985 Bogota, the drama follows Salvador, a lonely tailor whose burgeoning affair with Isabel is disrupted when she is unfairly linked to an attack on Colombia’s Palace of Justice by M-19 guerillas.
On the domestic front, Axxon’s distribution activities in France include the upcoming releases of Cornel Gheorghita’s Romanian film “The Wreck,” about a young man who makes a startling discovery about his deceased mother while seeking to sell her old double bass; and Margaux Flavio’s Swiss psychological drama “Truthce,” about a priest forced to delve into his own dark past in order to help a young woman in distress. Axxon also released “Thanatos,” Pierre Barnerias’s 2019 hit documentary about near-death experience.
In addition, the company’s Belgian affiliate, Axxon Media, is co-producing Bernard Mazauric’s forthcoming French film “Hyacinthe,” which is scheduled to start shooting in France next September.