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Strand Nabs Controversial “Michael”

Strand Nabs Controversial "Michael"

U.S. rights to Markus Schleinzer’s “Michael” have been picked up by Strand Releasing. The film debuted earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival and will have its North American premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

Strand is planning a February 2012 release.

Full Strand acquisitions release follows:

Strand Releasing has acquired all US rights to Markus Schleinzer’s MICHAEL from Les Films du Losange today, MICHAEL had its world premiere in the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The tense drama focuses in on the last five months of a ten-year-old boy’s life under the control of a man who keeps him locked away in a room in a basement. The film will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“We’re proud to have this intense drama, as exploitative a subject matter this film could have been, Mr. Schleinzer’s careful handling never sways from being a careful character study that is nothing less than thought provoking,” said Marcus Hu of Strand Releasing.

The deal was done between Strand’s Jon Gerrans and Les Films du Losange’s Agathe Valentin.

“We’re very thrilled to work with Strand Releasing on this daring film. With their past experiences, they are a very good distributor to bring this film to the US audiences and unveil a promising new filmmaker”, said Valentin.

This is the debut feature for Schleinzer whose previous efforts as a casting director include such art house classics as LOVELY RITA, DOG DAYS, THE PIANO TEACHER, THE WHITE RIBBON and WOMEN WITHOUT MEN.

Sales in other territories. The film has been sold to more than 14 European territories including Artificial Eye in UK, Wild Bunch Benelux , Fidalgo in Norway, Filmcoopi in Switzerland. Films du Losange will release the film in France on November 2nd.

Films du Losange will also present at TIFF LOW LIFE by Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval and continue the sales on THE BIRD by Yves Caumon presented at the Venice Film Festival.

In addition to MICHAEL, Strand Releasing is presenting Cristian Jimenez’ BONSAI which also premiered in Cannes as well as Paddy Considine’s TYRANNOSAUR in this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Based in Culver City, Strand Releasing is run by Co-Presidents, Gerrans and Hu. This year’s slate also includes Philippe LeGuay’s THE WOMEN ON THE 6th FLOOR, Claude and Nathan Miller’s I’M GLAD MY MOTHER IS ALIVE, Danis Tanovic’s CIRKUS COLUMBIA and Tom Tykwer’s 3.

Strand plans for a February 2012 release.

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