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Rooks Nest takes off

Julia Godzinskaya and Michael Sackler of new UK production outfit Rooks Nest Entertainment come to Berlin with Panorama entry My Brother the Devil, Sally El Hosaini’s well-received debut which premiered at Sundance.

Rooks Nest produced the £1m-budgeted urban drama with Gayle Griffiths’ Wild Horses Film Company. Both came to the project after it was part of the Sundance Labs.

And the company’s first completed film is already creating a buzz, with sales outfit Pacha Pictures seeing strong interest from buyers, including US distributors.

Going forward, the fledgling UK company will develop, produce and provide equity backing for US and international projects with budgets up to $5m. Rooks Nest has already invested in Francesca Gregorini’s second feature Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes, starring Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario and Alfred Molina; Sundance lab drama Bluebird from Lance Edmands, and Sophie Fiennes’ documentary sequel The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology.

“We have a very clear business plan and budget range,” says Sackler, who also runs creative agency Hi Fly Nest, whose clients have included Adidas and Vivienne Westwood. “There was a start-up capital and we have used the money to get to scripts very quickly. We are self sufficient and quicker than some companies. While we are unlikely to fund a film entirely we will hedge our bets.”

Godzinskaya initially started out at as a trainee agent at WME in LA before working as an associate producer with James Wilson. Sackler was in the charity industry.

My Brother the Devil gets its festival premiere at the Friedrichstadt-Palast tonight [Feb 15] at 6pm.

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