Protagonist Pictures riding high at Cannes with competition entry Cold War
by Kaleem Aftab
- The British sales agent has announced several new features on its roster at Cannes
Protagonist Pictures, the British-based international finance, production and sales company, has arrived at the Cannes Film Festival with a plethora of films to tout at the Film Market, including Palme d’Or contender Cold War [+see also:
Q&A: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile], the latest movie by Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski. MK2 is handling European sales on the Polish-language picture starring Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig, which is inspired by the director’s parents.
The British outfit has added several new pictures to its already healthy slate, including Hope Dickson Leach’s forthcoming second film, The Cradle, which unites BAFTA Award winner Jack O’Connell and Golden Globe nominee Lily Collins in a story about a young couple who are not ready to have their first child together. Gail Mutrux and Tore Schmidt are producing the adaptation of Patrick Somerville’s 2009 novel for Pretty Pictures, and the film is slated to shoot this summer. Also in pre-production, The Sound of Philadelphia is a French-US-Belgian co-production, which takes a heartfelt look at the grieving process. Matthias Schoenaerts and Garrett Hedlund star as cousins in the film helmed by A Bluebird in My Heart director Jérémie Guez.
Protagonist is selling world rights for the comedy Corporate Animals, starring Sharon Stone and Jessica Williams, and The Education of Frederick Fitzell, in which a chance encounter takes Fred (Dylan O’Brien) on a wild journey through his past, present and alternative futures to solve a long-forgotten mystery. Maika Monroe and Hannah Gross also star in the Christopher MacBride-helmed picture. Protagonist is also selling Little Monsters, a zombie comedy currently in post-production, directed by Abe Forsythe and starring Lupita Nyong’o.
Managing director Vanessa Saal and her sales colleagues George Hamilton and Charlotte Lopez will screen exclusive footage from The Souvenir, the new picture from British director Joanna Hogg (Exhibition [+see also:
film profile], Archipelago [+see also:
film profile], Unrelated [+see also:
film profile]), starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke. Tilda Swinton also appears in the story about a love affair teetering on the brink of destruction. Footage will also be shown of the UK-Chinese-Canadian high-concept thriller Two / One, in which two men have a hypnotic connection on two different sides of the world.
Protagonist will host market-premiere screenings of Kristoffer Nyholm’s Keepers, which stars Peter Mullan, Gerard Butler and rising star Connor Swindells as lighthouse keepers on a six-week shift on a remote Scottish island. Also screening for buyers is Amma Asante’s much-anticipated Where Hands Touch, about a forbidden love affair in wartime Germany. Amandla Stenberg and George MacKay star. The firm’s final market-premiere screening is Neil Biswas’ supernatural thriller Darkness Visible; Jaz Deol and Seema Biswas star in the Kolkata-set picture. It will also present promo footage of Chanya Button’s Vita & Virginia, which stars Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki and Isabella Rossellini in the fascinating true story of the love affair between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.
Three other previously announced films are also in pre-production and being sold at Cannes: Hope Gap, about a couple having marital problems after three decades together, starring Annette Bening and Bill Nighy; Off Season by Jonathan Van Tulleken, a supernatural thriller starring Jon Hamm; and Mark O’Rowe’s The Delinquent Season, a gripping thriller starring Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott, Catherine Walker and Eva Birthistle. Completed films on Protagonist’s slate include the Sundance hits Lord of Chaos by Jonas Åkerlund and Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher, with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gael García Bernal.
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