On the eve of the AFM, German sales powerhouse Beta Cinema has taken on world sales rights to Dutch movie Süskind, from director Rudolf Van Den Berg.
Süskind, which is being billed by some as a Dutch Schindler’s List, tells the true story of Jewish resistance hero Walter Süskind (Jeroen Spitzenberger) who worked for the Jewish Council in Amsterdam during the Second World War. Through a mix of guilde, charm and luck, playing on his relationship with SS Hauptsturmführer Aus der Fünten - played by Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) — he managed to save almost a thousand Jewish kids from deportation — and a likely death.
The film (which has a reported budget of $5.5m) is currently in post-production. It is produced through Fu Works and Cadenza Films. The fully completed version of the film is likely to surface internationally in time for next February’s Berlinale. The Benelux release will be through Independent in late January next year.
“The film is almost ready now and Beta is going to start selling it at AFM,” producer San Fu Maltha told Screen. Maltha’s fellow producers are Jeroen Koolbergen and Reiner Selen.
The release of the feature film will be accompanied by the publication of two new books about Süskind as well as a new documentary telling his story.
Süskind is the latest film from Van Den Berg, whose previous feature Tirza was nominated as the official Dutch candidate for the 2011 Best Foreign Language Oscar.