Heretic Outreach picks Sundance, Rotterdam competition titles and expands territory

Having just celebrated its third year, Heretic Outreach is happy to announce the acquisition of two titles, “Holiday” from Denmark and “The Reports on Sarah and Saleem” from Palestine.
Having so far represented films from the South Eastern European region, the Balkans and Turkey, Heretic Outreach branches out of its typical territory for the first time to take on two exceptional films, both premiering in the next few weeks in A-list festivals. “Holiday” by Isabella Eklöf, centering on the trophy girlfriend of a drug lord seeking the attention of another man while on holiday in Turkey, will world premiere in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Meanwhile “The Reports on Sarah and Saleem” by Muayad Alayan, the story of how an illicit affair between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man ignites a dangerous game of deceit, will debut at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, in the Tiger competition.

“Though outside of our territory so far, both films have strong connections to the area, as well as themes we really connected to, so this expansion feels like an organic step forward really,” Ioanna Stais, Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Heretic Outreach, explains. “We had been talking about it for some time, but it’s important to grow carefully, so we wanted to make this transition only when we felt ready for it and the right films came our way,” add Konstantinos Kontovrakis and Giorgos Karnavas, Heretic producers and partners.

Holiday: a dark gangster tale with a twist

Young and beautiful Sascha discovers her dream life of recklessness and fun comes at a price when she is welcomed into the “family” of her drug lord boyfriend at his holiday villa in the port city of Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera. Physical and psychological violence are a way of life in this volatile household, but when Sascha seeks the attention of another man, the velvet veneer is stripped raw to the bone. Is it possible that she could still leave this life of luxury and violence behind?
“We are delighted the film will have the strong representation that Heretic Outreach brings—it is a perfect match for this film of ours,” said “Holiday” producer David Sørensen.

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The Reports on Sarah and Saleem: topical, gripping drama in the heart of Jerusalem

Sarah is Israeli and runs a café in West Jerusalem. Saleem is Palestinian from East Jerusalem and works as a deliveryman. Despite being worlds apart, Sarah and Saleem risk everything as they embark on a illicit affair that could tear apart their unsuspecting respective families. When a risky late-night tryst goes awry and threatens to expose them, the two of them look on helplessly as their frantic efforts to salvage what’s left of their lives further escalate things. Caught up in the occupying machinery and socio-political pressure, Sarah and Saleem find themselves trapped in a web of deceit and not even the truth looks able to stop it.

“We are very exited and happy to have Heretic represent the film as world sales,” said filmmakers Muayad and Rami Alayan. “We have known Heretic as a one of the bright players in production in Greece, Europe and the Mediterranean region and we are looking forward to this collaboration.”

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“Son of Sofia” wins Best Film at the Tribeca Film Festival!

Elina Psykou’s sophomore film won the top prize of the International Narrative Feature Competition of the 16th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, which began on April 19 and ends on April 30.

The jury -Willem Dafoe (president), Peter Fonda, Tavi Gevinson, Alessandro Nivola and Ruth Wilson- prefaced the announcement with the following: “When we were watching these movies we were looking for something we hadn’t seen before. We unanimously agree that one film challenged us to see in a new way, and we were seduced by the surprising humanity of its difficult characters. The direction was assured, and its tone unique, and we look forward to seeing Elina Psykou’s next work. The Best International Narrative Feature Award goes to ‘Son of Sofia.’”

Check out more about the film here.

Heretic Outreach acquires “Thread” by The Boy

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Just as the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Agora Film Market start picking up steam, Heretic Outreach is proud to announce the newest addition to its line-up, the ambitious, incredibly exciting “Thread” by The Boy. The film will receive its world premiere on November 9thand completes Heretic Outreach’s Thessaloniki line-up, alongside Petrova’s Locarno winner “Godless”, Paschos’ debut “Afterlov” and Romania’s biggest box-office sensation, “Two Lottery Tickets” by Paul Negoescu Negoescu.

After debuting his previous three films at Thessaloniki, the multi-talented The Boy (Alexandros Voulgaris) returns to the festival with his most ambitious work to date, a sci-fi drama that defies categorization in order to capture a deeply personal vision. Heretic Outreach will be handling international sales.

Written and directed by The Boy, produced by Eleni Bertes, and starring the up-and-coming Sofia Kokkali in a mesmerizing performance, “Thread” challenges the values of contemporary society and addresses issues of memory, violence and the polemic of hope, through a unique cinematic language. Niki’s commitment to the Resistance gives away her inability to be a mother to her son. Lefteris, her son, inherits a past he does not want. Until one day, the ‘thread’ that binds them together, the psychological umbilical cord, is cut. The Mother’s struggle for political freedom turns into psychological shackles that hold the Boy prisoner; in the end, he will have to fight for his own freedom and seek his own redemption.

The producer Eleni Bertes describes the film as “highly political” and a “personal journey”. “All stages of the development, making, and realization of this film have been a personal journey for all those who participated in the production. The film, a low-budget production, is a testament to the fact that filmmaking is both an art and a craft. Whilst it is a uniquely personal journey, THREAD is a highly political film, told through the individual stories of mother and son”.

CREDITS

Director: The Boy
Screenplay: The Boy
Cast: Sofia Kokkali
Cinematography: Simos Sarketzis GSC
Editing: Panos Voutsaras
Special Effects: Prokopis Vlasseros
Sound: Kostas Varibopiotis, Nikos Triantafyllou, Buildings At Night
Music: Felizol & The Boy
Art Direction: The Boy
VFX Supervisor: Giannis Ageladopoulos
Costumes: Alkistis Mamali
Make-up: Ioanna Lygizou
Production company: Logline
Producer: Eleni Bertes

Produced with the financial support of the Greek Film Centre and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation

94 minutes | Colour | DCP

DIRECTOR’S BIO

The Boy is passionate about films, filmmaking and the world of cinema. He has written, directed, produced and acted in many of his own films, as well as the films of his fellow directors. He is also widely known for his music and performs across Europe, having released a number of solo albums and composed numerous music scores for films.

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY

2016 Thread
2012 Higuita (Thessaloniki Film Festival; Istanbul Independent Film Festival; Transilvania International Film Festival)
2006 Pink (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; Thessaloniki Film Festival; Best Film – Istanbul Independent Film Festival; Best Score – Festival Entrevues Belfort; Best Director – Los Angeles Greek Film Festival)
2003 Crying? (Toronto Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival)

See the rest of our line-up here.