Aspect Ratio and Hope Runs High have struck a deal to give North American theatrical and non-theatrical releases to dystopian German film “We Might as Well Be Dead,” from first-time filmmaker Natalia Sinelnikova.
The 2023 theatrical distribution of the film in the U.S. and Canada will be a partnership between the two companies and be followed by a digital release later in the year. Jordan Mattos of Aspect Ratio will oversee the non-theatrical distribution. The rights deal was struck with the film’s Amsterdam- and Beijing-based sales agent Fortissimo Films.
The film, which focuses on the residents of an apartment block situated on the edge of a forest and the inhabitants’ increasingly paranoid behavior, had its world premiere in February this year in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section of the Berlin film festival. “At the film’s center is the power of fear – a self-replicating system that can shatter social cohesion, and has long dictated current social and political discourses,” said the festival.
“Natalia has made a daring film that requires equally bold ways of finding audiences. I’m excited to be collaborating with Hope Runs High on a release that matches the ingenuity of her filmmaking,” said Mattos.
After debuting at the Berlinale, the film had its international premiere at Tribeca, where it won the cinematography prize. It has gone on the screen at numerous other festivals including Galway IFF, Fantasia IFF, Melbourne IFF, Fantastic Film Fest and the Sitges Film Festival.
Rights to the film have also been acquired for Mexico (by Bestiario Films), Scandinavia and the Baltics by Non Stop Entertainment, for the Czech Republic and Slovakia by Film Europe, and for Australia by SBS TV. The German domestic release was handled by Eksystent Film.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing Natalia Sinelnikova’s wonderfully watchable concoction of genre and social consciousness to North American moviegoers,” said Hope Runs High curator Taylor Purdee. “Introducing a new voice in world cinema is a privilege.”
Recent theatrical titles from the young label include “Killian & the Comeback Kids,” and the re-release of Oscar-winning actor-director Lee Grant’s documentary films.
“We are very excited to see this spot-on satire reach more and more audiences across the globe. I believe that showing this film in North America and especially to students will have a big impact. The film is eye-opening and unique,” said Gabrielle Rozing of Fortissimo Films.