Sovereign Takes U.K., Ireland Rights For Berlin, Seville Winner ‘Malmkrog’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sovereign Film Distribution has acquired U.K. and Ireland rights to writer-director Cristi Puiu’s Berlin and Seville winner “Malmkrog” (Manor House).

Puiu won the best director award at the Encounters section of the 2020 Berlin Film Festival, in addition to best screenplay and the Golden Giraldillo Award for best film at the Seville European Film Festival.

An adaptation of Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov’s book “Three Conversations,” “Malmkrog” follows a politician, a countess, a general and his wife as they gather over the Christmas holidays in a manor house to discuss death, war, progress and morality. As the debate becomes more heated, cultural differences become increasingly apparent and the mood grows tense.

The film is billed as a unique mixture of “Downton Abbey” and Dostoyevsky, as it recalls the drawing room masterworks of Max Ophüls, and the stark cerebral work of Ingmar Bergman.

The cast includes Frederic Schulz-Richard, Agathe Bosch, Diana Sakalauskaité, Marina Palii, Ugo Broussot, István Téglás, Sorin Dobrin, Vitalie Bichir, Christian Rummel and Edith Alibec.

“When I chose to make a film out of this book by Solovyov, it was because while reading it, I had this very strong feeling that he is somehow a dear friend, somebody I would talk about these matters with,” says Puiu. “His questions were my questions. When I decided to make a film based on the book, I believed that there would be some other people that would identify the questions they are asking themselves. Because I don’t have the answers. Solovyov has the answers, and very strong ones. But because I don’t, I wanted to put some signs inside the film itself to signal this.”

“Sovereign are proud to bring Cristi Puiu’s cinematic masterpiece ‘Malmkrog’ to a U.K. and Irish audience,” said Andreas Roald, managing director of Sovereign Film Distribution. “Cristi’s dynamic and flawless adaptation of Vladimir Solvyov’s important work is a unique and intellectually rich film that raises many relevant and contemporary moral questions.”

“Malmkrog” is produced by Mandragora and Iadasarecasa, in co-production with Sense Production, Cinnamon Films, Film i Väst, Doppelganger, Bord Cadre films, Produkcija 2006 Sarajevo, Sisters and Brothers Mitevski and Sovereign Films. World sales are handled by Shellac.

Sovereign’s recent U.K. and Ireland acquisitions include Venice winner “Verdict,” and Cannes selection “Song Without A Name.”

Puiu’s breakthrough film was 2005’s “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu,” which won several international awards, including the Grand Prix in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.

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