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Magnolia has acquired North American rights to “Shorta,” Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid’s Danish action thriller, which world premiered during Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival to warm reviews. The movie went on to play at Toronto.

The action-packed film follows Jens and Mike, two police officers who are on a routine patrol in a disadvantaged neighborhood when news breaks that 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi has died in police custody. As the neighborhood’s young inhabitants call for revenge, the two officers find themselves trapped in a maze of buildings.

“‘Shorta’ is an incredibly tense, primal story, both classic and modern,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “We look forward to bringing it to American audiences,’ added Bowles. Magnolia is planning to release the film next year.

“Shorta” bowed in theaters in Scandinavia on Oct. 8 and reached more than 30,000 admissions over the first weekend, according to French sales outfit Charades, which is shopping the film globally.

“We are thrilled to have found in Magnolia the best home in the U.S. for Anders and Frederik’s work,” said Charades’ partner Carole Baraton, who negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers, with Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden.

“Their film will be brought to U.S. audiences with all the subtlety and care this topical, powerful and societal feature needs,” added Baraton.

Charades, which acquired rights to “Shorta” after it was pitched at Les Arcs Festival’s works-in-progress strand in 2019, had already pre-sold the film in many key markets ahead of its world premiere, including in South Korea (NK Contents), France (Program Store), Germany & Switzerland (Koch Media), Spain (Caramel), Italy (Blue Swan), Greece (One From The Heart), Poland (Canal + Poland), Hungary (ADS), Czech Republic & Slovakia (Film Europe), Baltics & CIS (World Pictures), Latin America (Synapse) and India (Big Tree).

Off the back of its Venice and Toronto premieres, Charades continued sales and closed the U.K. (Vertigo), Australia & New Zealand (Rialto), as well as Japan (Fine Films).

“Shorta” was produced by Signe Leick Jensen and Morten Kaufmann at Toolbox Film. Director Anders Ølholm is represented by Joanne Roberts Wiles at ICM.

Director Frederik Louis Hviid is represented by Nina Fryland from Storyroom, and Patrick Child from Independent Talents and Jerome Duboz.