Sophie Lowe and Louisa Krause direct ‘Dive’, first film in new sales contract – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: In an interesting international partnership, the British sales company Protagonist Pictures and the German company 7500 and Stowaway Producer Augenschein is teaming up to co-represent global rights to a selection of films in English.
The protagonist will serve as executive producers on the films of the new partnership and will work with Augenschein to find funding for the projects. The companies will invest part of the funds generated by the sales in the co-development of selected projects, with the aim of building a list of co-productions.
The strategic alliance is not completely exclusive and will not prevent either of the two companies from continuing to work with others.
This is a smart move to reinforce importance in a market in which streamers are increasingly dominant. We’ve been hearing for some time about the potential for sellers and distributors to team up to increase their pulling power and distribution footprint.
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The first project under the new deal will be a high survival thriller Diving which will feature Sophie Lowe (Slap her) and Louisa Krause (Billion). Augenschein, who recently launched an in-house sales division, will co-represent global rights (including in the US) with Protagonist and the two will begin discussions with buyers at the Cannes Virtual Market this month.
The film, which is based on the Swedish film Breaking surface, traces the story of two sisters with close but complex ties who plunge into a beautiful and remote place. During their dive, one of the sisters was struck by a rock from a landslide above the water, leaving her trapped on the seabed 28 meters below. With dangerously low oxygen levels and cold temperatures, it’s her sister to fight for her life, which in turn puts her own life in danger.
Main filming is scheduled to start in mid-August on location in Malta and Germany.
The film is written and directed by up-and-coming German filmmaker Maximilian Erlenwein, known for his crime thriller. Stereo, which debuted in Berlin and was picked up by Netflix. The producers are Maximilian Leo and Jonas Katzenstein from Augenschein. Executive producers are Augenschein’s Jonathan Saubach and Philipp Stendebach, alongside protagonist’s Dave Bishop, Luane Gauer, George Hamilton and Janina Vilsmaier.
The production is funded by Augenschein with support from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and MFG Film Fund. Wild Bunch will release the film locally in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France. German free television is licensed by ZDF.
The DoP is Frank Griebe (Cloud Atlas) which will be supported by director of underwater photography Jan Hinrich Hoffmann (Darkest hour). The special effects will be handled by the VFX studio LAVAlabs, which also provided the special effects for the acquisition of Amazon by Augenschein. 7500.
Augenschein has had eye-catching success with his genre photos 7500 and Stowaway (both sold to streamers as part of lucrative deals) and are hoping for a similar demand for this package.
Sophie Lowe recently starred in Amazon’s Bring down the man, which debuted at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. She starred alongside Emilia Clarke, Jack Huston and Thora Birch in Phillip Noyce’s Above suspicion, and co-starred with Charlotte Rampling and Willie Nelson in Lian Lunson’s Waiting for the miracle to come.
Krause’s feature film credits include the animated film Sundance and Berlinale Cryptozoo with Lake Bell and Michael Cera, entrance Berlin Skin, and Todd Haynes Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway. His TV credits include Ray donovan, The Girlfriend Experience and Showtime’s Billion.
Augenschein CEO and Producer Maximilian Leo commented on the new agreement: “We are absolutely delighted to partner with the fantastic team at Protagonist and to pool our resources and knowledge to create a top-notch movie roster for the international market. It’s the best of both worlds as we enhance the international landscape with the distinctive styles and voices of today’s brightest filmmakers.
Protagonist Pictures Sales Director George Hamilton added, “Augenschein’s super talented team exemplifies the creative and business approach to making successful, contemporary films. We are delighted to be able to combine our collective strengths to bring original stories and voices to the global market, but also to collaborate in their development. “
The protagonist’s Cannes virtual market slate includes a star-studded rom-com package She came to me, with Anne Hathaway, Tahar Rahim, Marisa Tomei, Joanna Kulig and Matthew Broderick.