Menemsha Films has taken distribution rights in North America to Thomas Roth’s drama “Schächten – A Retribution” in a deal with Berlin-based sales company Picture Tree Intl. PTI has debuted the film’s trailer, and will hold an invitation-only private screening of the film for buyers in Cannes.
Neil Friedman, president of Menemsha Films, said: “The film ‘Schächten’ is a true discovery. We expect great results for the film upon its release in North America.”
Burkhard Ernst, CEO of the production company Cult Film, added: “Thomas Roth does an exceptional job of portraying the struggles of the post-war generation to obtain justice for Holocaust crimes, and we are very happy to have this film seen by North American audiences, and released by an experienced distribution company in this area.”
The film is set in Vienna in the 1960s, and deals with themes of law, justice and revenge. Young Jewish businessman Victor witnesses how the prosecution of a Nazi crime against his family fails. The political and legal system is still virtually run by former Nazis with large parts of society being entangled in the past. When Victor also loses his grief ridden father, and his girlfriend’s family opposes their relationship, Victor begins to lose faith in formal justice and takes matters into his own hands.
In a statement, Roth said: “Victor Dessauer is old enough to have experienced the horrors of the Nazi regime as a child and is still young enough to carry the anger of youth when we begin our story. I wanted to capture his awakening and confrontation with this Nazi past, which became characteristic for Victor’s generation and opened the door for a spirit of a wider rebellion that painfully changed society, while being inseparable from the present. Much of this story radiates into our present society and how quickly the cycle of hatred can re-emerge in all of us.”
The cast includes Jeff Wilbusch, Christian Berkel, Georg Friedrich, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Julia Stemberger, Konstantin Frank and Miriam Fussenegger.
“Schächten” is a Cult Film production in coproduction with Hallmann Entertainment Company, and was created with the support of the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI), Filmfonds Wien, FISA – Filmstandort Austria, Land Niederösterreich and Land Salzburg, and in cooperation with ORF.
The producers are Burkhard W.R. Ernst, Katharina Ernst, Roth and Konstantin Seitz. The coproducers are Klemens Hallmann and Michel Wagner.
Other PTI films having their market premieres at Cannes are “Love Thing,” “A Stasi Comedy,” “Kaiserschmarrn Drama” and “Without Her.”