Unique: German production and sales outfit Augenschen, best known for thrillers yet bottomless passenger And 7500Talking to buyers at Cannes Bazaar about the new thriller Islands (working title), due to star Control And harmful Actor Sam Riley.
Cologne-based Augenschen is making the film in co-production with German studio Leonine, which also took over the German distribution rights. Funding comes from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, FFA, Medianboard Berlin-Brandenburg and DFFF.
Islands tells the story of Tom, a one-time tennis pro who arrived on a holiday island years ago. Now he’s a coach at a hotel resort, hitting countless balls to tourists who come to escape his everyday life. Living in an endless summer, Tom fills the emptiness inside with alcohol and brief affairs. He’s still kidding himself that he’s in heaven, but he’s starting to feel like he’s in hell. When he encounters a particular tourist family, he seems to have found his rescue.
The director will be Jan-Ole Gerster (a coffee in berlin) from a script co-written with Laurie Doran (speaking in tongues) and Blaise Kutin (lara,
“We see Jan-Ole as the next German director whose singular, signature style will earn devoted audiences around the world, so we are honored to champion her latest project,” said Maximilian Leo of Augenschen.
Leo’s business partner Jonas Katzenstein said: “This stylish, charged and character-driven thriller is an exciting fresh take on the classic genre that only a visionary like Jan-Ole could bring to life.”
It’s the latest project for the growing and ambitious Augenschein, who will begin shooting on the Michaela Cole and Anne Hathaway pop melodrama in the coming weeks. mother MaryWhich she is producing with A24.
The company, which has found a profitable niche in the advanced genre, is growing and replenishing. Production belongs to Jordan Scott berlin none starring Eric Bana and Sadie Sink, which he is producing with Scott Frey; Brian Kirk to shoot in the next 12 months fisherman starring Emma Thompson and Justin Kurzel Morning Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Laura Dern and Noah Jupe, which he is producing with Sunny March.
The firm, which now gives full priority to English-language projects, currently has six films in production or post-production for a total budget in the 80M Euro range. It has another 20 projects in development or on its in-house international sales slate.
In the past 12 months, hires have included executive producer Carlota Loffelholz; Simon B. Stein, head of physical production; and Katrin Kreipel, Jr. Producer.
In an interview with Deadline, Leo told us: “It feels like we’re really moving to a new level in the company. We’re pushing director-driven, elevated style and quality films. We’re increasing our volume.” We’re growing more teams and getting easier access to talent and creative partners, and we’re also seeing that in TV.
“The market has changed,” he continues. “The old pre-sale model is not working so well now. Our strategy is to finance between a mix of soft money, a limited mix of pre-sales – we keep a lot of the project unsold and we fill with equity. In this way, we can sell the film later, or we can cooperate with sellers [Protagonist has been a regular partner]or make a global deal[Netflixacquired[NetflixacquiredStowaway for the world).
The company’s growth has attracted investment interest in the company: “We’re exploring our options,” confirms Katzenstein. “We’ve been contacted in the last year about that. We are thinking about our next steps and about opening up to third parties.”