Local Release

(Variety) Picture Tree Intl. Picks Up Comedy ‘The Black Square,’ Starring ‘Toni Erdmann’s’ Sandra Hueller (EXCLUSIVE)

By Leo Barraclough

Sales agent Picture Tree Intl. has taken the international rights to comedy “The Black Square,” which will star Sandra Hueller, the co-lead of Oscar-nominated “Toni Erdmann,” and now appearing in “Exile,” which has its European premiere Monday in Berlin’s Panorama section, after playing at Sundance.

Port au Prince Pictures will release “The Black Square” in Germany and Austria. The distributor also released last year’s Berlinale Silver Bear winner and German Oscar entry “System Crasher,” which became an indie box office hit in Germany with a $5.15 million theatrical gross.

“The Black Square,” which starts principal photography on Tuesday, is written and directed by Peter Meister, making his feature film debut.

The film tells the story of two art thieves who have stolen the iconic avant-garde painting “Black Square” by Kazimir Malevich. The handover of the $60 million ransom is set to take place on a cruise ship, but things go wrong for them from the moment they board the ship with the stolen tickets of two cruise-ship entertainers: an Elvis Presley and a David Bowie impersonator. With the thieves trapped on board with far more public attention than they had expected, and chased by various interested parties trying to get hold of the painting, a breathless game of cat and mouse begins.

The movie is produced by Berlin-based production house Frisbeefilms in co-production with Port Au Prince, and German broadcaster ZDF/ARTE with support from regional film funds Hessen Film, Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) and Nordmedia, as well as the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

PTI’s EFM lineup includes several other German films, including “Nightlife,” starring Elyas M’Barek and Frederick Lau, which has grossed $3.46 million after one week of release in Germany; “A Stasi Comedy,” directed by Leander Haussmann, to be released by Constantin Film, and “Takeover,” produced by Pantaleon Film, and set for release in Germany in April through Warner Bros.

Image: Curtesy of Christian Hueller

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