Writer-director Tinna Hrafnsdóttir’s critically acclaimed Icelandic psychological-mystery drama “Quake” has sold to Juno Films for North America and the U.K. as well as to Njuta Films for Sweden.
British-French production, distribution and sales company Alief is presenting the film at the upcoming Cannes Marché du Film.
Anita Briem (“Beautiful Beings,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth”) stars as Saga, a single mother fighting to keep her young son while trying to piece together her life after losing her memory. Afraid of being considered unable to take care of her child, Saga attempts to hide her state from others as she searches for answers and recovers long repressed memories.
“‘Quake’ is a taut mystery-thriller that masterfully spirals toward a cathartic, emotionally satisfying resolution,” said Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno Films’ president and CEO. “The stunning cinematography reflects a barren cold landscape that in turn reflects the emotionally frigid familial relationships in a film that keeps you guessing — until the very end — what is true.”
Juno Films is planning a limited theatrical release in late 2022.
Njuta Films CEO Nicolas Debot described the film as “beautifully made” and praised Briem’s “strong performance.” The story “also brings forward the difficult but very important subject of repressed childhood traumas, and how these can’t be ignored or silenced as they will resurface later in life.”
Njuta Films is similarly aiming for a theatrical release in the fall or early winter as well as special screenings in collaboration with associations dealing with the film’s psychological subject matter.
Based on the novel “Quake: A Novel,” by Audur Jonsdóttir, the film is the feature debut as writer and director of Hrafnsdóttir, whose previous credits as an actor include “Margrete – Queen of the North,” “Valhalla Murders” and “The Minister.”
Hrafnsdóttir has a supporting role in “Quake,” which also stars Edda Björgvinsdóttir (“Under the Tree,” “The Valhalla Murders”). The film is produced by Hlín Jóhannesdóttir of Reykjavík-based Ursus Parvus.
“Quake” world premiered at Tallinn Black Nights in November and had its U.S. premiere at this year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival, where it unspooled in the Nordic/Dutch competition sidebar. It’s currently in its sixth week of release in Icelandic cinemas.
Alief President Brett Walker and partner Miguel Angel Govea negotiated the deals with Sheldon and Debot on behalf of the filmmakers.
Alief’s Cannes slate also includes such diverse international titles as Amanda Kramer’s Fantasia-bound “Give Me Pity!” starring Sophie von Haselberg, and Sundance’s critically acclaimed sci-fi indie hit “Strawberry Mansion,” by Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley. Two other titles, Andrius Blaževičius’ Tallinn Black Nights award winner “Runner” and Hannes Thor Haldorsson’s Locarno screener “Cop Secret” are both headed to big-event genre festivals this summer.