Strand Gets Two New Films: Berlinale Winner "Head On" and Marchand's "Bambi"
by Eugene Hernandez
Strand Releasing has nabbed two new films, Fatih Akin's "Head On" from Germany and Gilles Marchand's "Who Killed Bambi?" from France. "Gegen Die Wand" (Head On), which won the Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlinale, was directed by 30-year-old filmmaker Akin who was born to Turkish parents in Hamburg, Germany. The film explores the world of second-generation Turkish immigrants in Germany and stars Birol Unel and Sibel Kekilli. Bavaria Film International brought the title, which also won the Berlinale's FIPRESCI prize, to the American Film Market in Santa Monica and closed the pact with Strand.
"I found it very original and very interesting," explained Strand co-president Jon Gerrans in a conversation with indieWIRE yesterday, referring to the Berlinale winner "Head On." "It had two very unlikable characters that you fall in love with by the end of the movie, I found their performances and their transformation so wonderful and believable, it sucked me in -- it is wonderful filmmaking."
Gilles Marchand's "Qui a Tue Bambi?" (Who Killed Bambi?) is a new French thriller from the co-screenwriter of "Human Resources" and "With a Friend Like Harry." It is Marchand's directorial debut and stars Sophie Quinton and Laurent Lucas. The film debuted at Cannes last year and also screened in Toronto in the fall. Newcomer Quinton was nominated for a Cesar for her role as a nursing student investigating the strange goings-on at the hospital where she works.
"Bambi," acquired in a deal with Celluloid Dreams, will be showcased this month at the annual "Rendez-vous With French Cinema" at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Strand Co-president Hu told indieWIRE that the company will release the film this fall.
Strand has not yet set a release date for "Head On," pending North American film festival commitments, Gerrans said that he expects Strand to release the film at the end of this year or early next year.
In January, Strand nabbed Jacob Tierney's "Twist," a modern take on "Oliver Twist" set among gay prostitutes in Canada. It screened at the Toronto festival. Other upcoming Strand films include Julian Hernandez's "A Thousand Clouds of Peace" and Bruce LaBruce's "Rasberry Reich," both of which played at Sundance.