Focus World Acquires U.S. Rights to THE DEEP, Iceland’S Oscars Submission for 2013
Director is Baltasar Kormákur (CONTRABAND, 2 GUNS)
Focus World (www.FocusFeatures.com/FocusWorld), the alternative distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, has acquired U.S. rights to the riveting drama The Deep, directed by Baltasar Kormákur (director of this year’s hit Contraband and next year’s 2 Guns). The announcement was made today by Focus President Andrew Karpen. The deal was closed by Avy Eschenasy, Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning, Business Affairs and Acquisitions, and Kent Sanderson, Director, Alternative Content & Distribution, with WME Global.
The Deep has been selected as Iceland’s official submission for the 2013 Academy Awards, in the Best Foreign-Language Film category. Directed, produced, and co-written by Mr. Kormákur, The Deep dramatizes an astonishing true incident about the sole survivor of a downed fishing boat. An ordinary man’s will to live made him a reluctant national hero – one whose truly fearless act was to journey home. The film screened at the Mill Valley and Toronto International Film Festivals after being a box office smash in its home country. BAC Films is handling foreign sales of The Deep.
Mr. Kormákur most recently directed Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg, which Universal Pictures opened in the #1 slot at the domestic box office this past January; the film was based on Reykjavik-Rotterdam, the Icelandic feature which Mr. Kormákur had previously starred in and produced. Universal will release the director’s next movie, 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mr. Wahlberg, in theaters nationwide on August 16th, 2013. His Icelandic films as director include Reykjavik 101, The Sea, and Jar City. Mr. Kormákur is currently developing an English-language remake of Jar City with Lava Bear Films and Furst Films; Viking, an action adventure to film in Iceland; Everest, about events on the mountain in 1996; and a film version of Halldór Laxness’ beloved, Nobel Prize-winning book Independent People. He will also direct the pilot episode of The Missionary, executive-produced by Mr. Wahlberg. His other feature credits as a director include A Little Trip to Heaven, White Night Wedding, and Inhale.
The Deep was shot entirely in Iceland, much of it on the open sea, and stars Olafur Darri Olafsson, a frequent collaborator of Mr. Kormákur’s. Agnes Johansen and Mr. Kormákur, through his Blueeyes Productions, are the film’s producers, and Lilja Palmadottir and David Linde are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Jon Atli Jonasson and Mr. Kormákur, based on the former’s stage play of the same name as well as on news reportage of the events that transpired.
Launched in 2011, Focus World identifies and curates the most exciting voices in international and independent cinema. Part of Focus Features’ multi-platform strategy, Focus World presents titles of genuine vision and originality.
The Deep will be released in the first half of 2013. Focus World’s most recent selection, ½ Revolution, was made available last month on VOD and iTunes. ½ Revolution is a first-person documentary about the “Arab Spring” revolution in Egypt in early 2011, by filmmakers Karim El Hakim and Omar Shargawi.