Ahead of its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s “High Ground” has found a U.S. home with Samuel Goldwyn. The Australian-made film, headlined by Simon Baker, is represented in international markets by pan-European group Playtime and is having a gala screening at the festival.
Set in 1919, “High Ground” tells the story of former WWI sniper Travis, who is now a policeman in the vast and remote landscape of Northern Australia. He loses control of an operation, resulting in the massacre of an indigenous tribe.
While his superiors decide to bury the truth, the experience leaves a scar on Travis’ conscience, but he’s forced to return there 12 years later on a mission to track down an Aboriginal outlaw. Travis soon realizes the young man he’s chasing is the only known survivor of the massacre.
“High Ground” shot on location in the world heritage-listed Kakadu Park and Arnhem Land in Australia’s rugged Northern Territory. Baker stars in the film opposite the Australian star Jack Thompson, has Aaron Pedersen (“Mystery Road”), Witiyana Marika, Jacob Junior Nayinggul and Maximillian Johnson. The movie was produced by Maggie Miles, Witiyana Marika, Stephen Johnson, David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin.
The deal was brokered by Samuel Goldwyn’s CEO Peter Goldwyn and by Playtime’s CEO and co-founder Nicolas Brigaud-Robert.
Playtime is also attending the Berlin Film Festival with Rithy Panh’s “Irradiated,” which plays in competition. At the European Film Market, the company is unveiling promo reels of several films on its lineup, notably Caroline Vignal’s “My Donkey, My Lover & I,” François Ozon’s “Summer of 85,” Nine Antico’s “Playlist,” Bouli Lanners and Tim Mielants’ “Wise Blood,” “Memory Box” by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, and “Libertad” by Clara Roquet