Sales agent Beta Cinema is launching its Cannes Market slate, which is headlined by psychological thriller “Corvidae,” with a playful and novel approach. The company has produced an entertainment show, in the style of a late-night chatshow, featuring its sales team pitching its films and presenting exclusive clips from them. Variety has been given an exclusive sneak peek at the show before it goes live on Friday.
Beta Cinema CEO Dirk Schürhoff is the charismatic host of chatshow “The Beta Cinema Show,” filmed at the company’s offices in Oberhaching, near Munich, while Thorsten Ritter, exec VP acquisitions, sales and marketing, leads the house band on electric guitar. Its sales executives beam in their reports from around the world, while the kangaroo from the hit film “The Kangaroo Chronicles” assists. The tone is fun and tongue-in-cheek, but it’s a serious attempt to add a bit of showbiz pizzazz to the virtual market format.
Among the highlights of the show are first footage from two upcoming titles: the tragicomedy “My Neighbor Adolf” by Leon Prudovsky, starring David Hayman (“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”) and Udo Kier (“My Own Private Idaho,” “The Painted Bird”), and the romantic comedy “Hello Again – A Wedding A Day” from Maggie Peren, starring Alicia von Rittberg (“Ballon”) and Edin Hasanovic (“You Are Wanted”).
Aside from producing “The Beta Cinema Show,” Beta has revamped its website and set up a virtual screening room, where “Corvidae” will have its market premiere screening “by invitation only.” Beta has also produced a moderated Q&A with first scenes from the film, which is featured on the site.
“Corvidae,” directed by Joe Marcantonio, is described as a “commercial, classy psychological thriller.” It stars Fiona Shaw, Tamara Lawrance and Jack Lowden, who founded the production company Reiver Pictures for the film. Beta has international rights and UTA represents North America.
Another market premiere is “The Auschwitz Report” by director, writer and actor Peter Bebjak. It is the gripping true story of Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, who escaped Auschwitz and were able to compile a 32-page report, which helped save more than 100,000 lives. It stars Noel Czuczor, Peter Ondrejicka, Jan Nedbal and John Hannah. The film is screening “by invitation only.”
Germany’s box-office hit “The Kangaroo Chronicles” by Dani Levy is the final market premiere in the lineup. It made over Euros 6.5 million ($7.32 million) in German cinemas, despite the release being hit by the COVID 19 crisis in its second week.
The critically acclaimed Berlin competition title “My Little Sister,” by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, is another market screening, accompanied by a new trailer.
Another Berlin title, “Berlin Alexanderpatz” by Burhan Qurbani, “Narcissus & Goldmund” from Oscar-winner Stefan Ruzowitzky, and “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” by Oscar-winner Caroline Link round out the slate of finished films.
As well as “My Neighbor Adolf” and “Hello Again – A Wedding A Day,” upcoming films include “My Son,” directed by Lena Stahl, and starring Jonas Dassler (“The Golden Glove”), “Hinterland” from Stefan Ruzowitzky, “Karnawal” from Juan Pablo Félix, and “Diabolik” from Manetti Brothers, all of which feature in Beta’s lineup for the first time.