Three Screen Flanders co-productions selected for Toronto
The Screen Flanders-supported co-production I Kill Giants, from Academy Award®-winning Danish director Anders Walter (9 Meter, Helium) will have its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, 7-17 September). The Umedia production will be part of the Discovery programme in the TIFF Kids section. Other co-productions supported by Screen Flanders due to be presented in Toronto are Michaël R. Roskam’s Racer and the Jailbird and 55 Steps, directed by Bille August.
I Kill Giants is the feature debut of Danish director Anders Walter, winner of the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film with Helium. Based on the comic by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura, I Kill Giants tells the sweeping, bittersweet story of a young girl struggling to conquer monsters both real and imagined as her world crumbles at the feet of giants bigger than any one child can handle.
Madison Wolfe (True Detective, Joy) plays the lead role of young Barbara Thorson alongside Zoe Saldana, known for her roles in such American blockbusters as Avatar, Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy. They are joined behind the camera by a partly Flemish crew, including line producer Bart Eycken and heads of department Hans Reynaerts (grip), Johan Maertens (sound), Charlotte Willems and Charlotte Goethals (costume), Evie Hamels (make-up) and Eric De Wulf (SFX). Multiple Flanders-based audiovisual companies provided technical equipment for the shoot, which spent 11 days at the AED Studios near Antwerp.
Umedia (Submergence, What Happened to Monday) is producing, along with Chris Columbus's 1492 Pictures and Ocean Blue Entertainment (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), Kim Magnusson, Kyle Franke, Man of Action Entertainment and XYZ Films. The film is backed by Ingenious and financed by Umedia.
Joining I Kill Giants in Toronto is Racer and the Jailbird. The third feature from Flemish director Michaël R. Roskam (Rundskop/Bullhead, The Drop) will be part of the Festival’s Special Presentations programme. Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts and French actress Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Colour) play the lead roles in this dark romantic tragedy set against the backdrop of Belgium’s crime underworld.
Racer and the Jailbird is a Savage Film production (Bullhead, The Ardennes), co-produced by Eyeworks, Frakas Productions and television channel RTBF. The French co-producer is Stone Angels, and the Dutch co-production partners are Kaap Holland Film and Submarine.
Having its world premiere in a Gala event at the Roy Thomson Hall, meanwhile, is the German-Flemish co-production 55 Steps by Academy Award® and Golden Palm-winner Bille August (The Best Intentions, Pelle The Conqueror).
Starring in the lead roles are Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby) and Helena Bonham Carter (Suffragette, The King's Speech), alongside Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, Transparent) and Flemish actor Johan Heldenbergh (The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Zookeeper’s Wife).
Mark Rosin’s screenplay is based on the inspiring true story of Eleanor Riese - a patient with a mental illness who brings a class action suit to give competent patients the right to have a say in their medication while they're in a hospital - and Colette Hughes, the lawyer appointed to her case.
55 Steps is a production of German company Elsani Film, in co-production with MMC Movies Köln and the Flanders-based Potemkino Port. International sales are handled by Sony Pictures Worldwide.
The Screen Flanders Economic Fund, an initiative under the aegis of Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz, invested in all the above-mentioned productions. Racer and the Jailbird was also supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund under the aegis of Minister Gatz.
Still I Kill Giants - courtesy of XYZ Films