New York-based distribution company Grasshopper Film has acquired North American rights to Valentyn Vasyanovych’s sci-fi drama “Atlantis,” Ukraine’s official selection for next year’s Academy Awards.
Represented in international markets by Belgian sales group Best Friend Forever, “Atlantis” played at Toronto, Rotterdam and Venice, where it won the best film award in the Horizons Competition. The critically acclaimed film was also selected for New Directors/New Films.
The movie, which is expected to be released theatrically early next year, is set in 2025. Eastern Ukraine in a desert unsuitable for human habitation and water is an expensive commodity brought by trucks. As a wall is being built on the border, Sergiy, a former soldier, is having trouble adapting to this new reality. He meets Katya while on the Black Tulip mission dedicated to exhuming war corpses. Together, they try to return to some sort of normal life in which they are also allowed to fall in love again.
“‘Atlantis’ is pure breathtaking cinema,” said Ryan Krivoshey, the president and founder of Grasshopper Film who negotiated the deal with Best Friend Forever’s partners Martin Gondre and Charles Bin.
“A sci-fi parable about a not-too-distant future, it is among the most jaw-droppingly beautiful and visionary films I’ve seen in a long time,” said Krivoshey.
Aside from the Venice award, “Atlantis” also won prizes at Mexico’s Ficunam, Odessa, Tokyo, Seville, Denver and Tromso festivals, as well as won best film and director at the Ukrainian Film Critics Awards.
“Atlantis” stars Andriy Rymaruk, Liudmyla Bileka and Vasyl Antoniak. The film was produced by Vasyanovych, Iya Myslytska, and Vladimir Yatsenko.
“Atlantis” marks Vasyanovych’s fourth directorial outing. The helmer, who is also a cinematographer and producer, made his feature debut with “Business As Usual.” Vasyanovych notably produced and lensed Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s “The Tribe,” which won the Grand Prize at Cannes’ Critics Week in 2014 and more than 40 other prizes around the world.
Grasshopper’s slate of upcoming releases include Tsai Ming-liang’s “Days,” Camilo Restrepo’s “Los Conductos,” Manoel de Oliveira’s “Francisca,” Manfred Kirchheimer’s “Free Time,” and Paul Felten and Joe DeNardo’s “Slow Machine.”