Greek Oscar contender “Magnetic Fields” has closed a raft of offers because it ramps up its marketing campaign in the most effective worldwide function race, with HBO Max buying distribution rights in Europe and Chinese language arthouse distributor Hugoeast planning a theatrical launch on the earth’s second-largest market.
The HBO Max deal contains Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Bulgaria. Spanish streamer Filmin, in the meantime, has acquired all rights for Spain and Portugal.
Ioanna Stais, head of gross sales and acquisitions at Athens-based Heretic, which brokered the offers, mentioned: “We couldn’t be extra proud to see a movie so near our hearts reaching a wider viewers. The movie’s success within the Greek field workplace proved that viewers really feel the heat and the fantastic thing about the movie. It’s so thrilling to see that ‘Magnetic Fields’ crosses borders and touches the guts of audiences worldwide.”
Established in 2016, arthouse specialist Hugoeast, which just lately launched a world gross sales arm, has acquired greater than 200 worldwide titles for the Chinese language market, together with Cannes prize winners “Corsage,” by Marie Kreutzer, and “The Worst Ones,” from directing duo Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret. The corporate’s acquisitions head Hanyang Music praised “Magnetic Fields” as “an unpredictable, tender, romantic story.”
The function debut of graphic artist-turned-director Yorgos Goussis, “Magnetic Fields” has been a shock, feel-good story in Greece, the place it was launched by Cinobo and had greater than 27,000 admissions — a good determine for the native arthouse market.
After premiering final yr on the Thessaloniki Intl. Movie Pageant, the place it scooped six prizes, the movie — a scrappy, low-budget street film a few man and lady who forge an unlikely bond after assembly on a ferry — went on to brush the nation’s Academy Awards and beat out contenders comparable to big-budget historic drama “Smyrna” to earn the Oscar nod. Pic is produced by miniFILMS, Bare Eye Productions and Heretic.
“Magnetic Fields” follows Elena (Elena Topalidou), a solo traveler going through a life disaster who instantly decides to vary course on a whim. Boarding a ferry she meets Antonis (Antonis Tsiotsiopoulos), who’s touring to an island cemetery to bury the metallic field holding his aunt’s bones. When Antonis’ automobile breaks down Elena provides him a trip, setting off a collection of misadventures that brings the duo nearer collectively, at the same time as their lives appear decided to float aside.
Talking to Selection on the Thessaloniki Movie Pageant, Goussis known as “Magnetic Fields’” surprising success a “miracle” for “a movie that nobody knew existed” a yr in the past. He described its award-season run as a “David vs. Goliath” marketing campaign in opposition to a discipline of high-profile contenders that features Cannes darlings “Corsage” (Austria) and “Shut” (Belgium), by Lukas Dhont, and Alice Diop’s Venice prize winner “Saint Omer” (France). “Now we have a really distinctive product,” Goussis mentioned. “It’s very completely different from some other movie on this Oscar marketing campaign.”
It’s a hit story the director couldn’t have imagined two years in the past, when he set off together with his two stars and 6 crew members on a street journey from Athens to the island of Kefalonia. Greece was locked down throughout a tough pandemic winter, and Goussis — with little greater than €6,000 ($6,000) and a Canon XM2 camcorder to work with — gave his guerilla filmmaking staff 15 days to shoot the tough storyline he’d sketched out in Athens.
The actors improvised off his remedy, with the close-knit forged and crew constructing chemistry alongside the way in which. “We determined we’re going to have this journey, and no matter we discover on the street will probably be our film,” Goussis mentioned. It wasn’t till he returned to Athens and completed a tough minimize that the director was satisfied they’d even managed to place collectively a function movie.
The consequence struck a chord with Greek audiences, whose word-of-mouth buzz propelled the movie to an prolonged theatrical run. For Goussis, that success has been validation for his small staff’s labor of affection.
“We discovered one thing about ourselves on this journey,” he mentioned. “We have been questioning if this sense was going to be contained in the movie. And we understood from the individuals who watched it that there’s a…mild, there’s happiness, there’s kindness.”
The Thessaloniki Intl. Movie Pageant runs Nov. 3 – 13.
Greek Oscar Contender ‘Magnetic Fields’ Attracts Patrons in Europe, China as Award-Season Run Ramps Up (EXCLUSIVE)