Screen highlights the buzz titles ready to entice international buyers at the 2024 European Film Market (EFM), which runs February 15-21.

'The Damned'

Source: Protagonist Pictures

‘The Damned’

Altitude Film Sales is introducing buyers to Guy Jenkin’s Fools, a comedy drama about Queen Mary I and her court jester. Karen Gillan, Patsy Ferran, Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent star, with Ryan Bennett of PaperEpic Productions producing. Altitude is also selling a blur documentary and a separate concert film about the iconic UK band, titled blur: Live At Wembley Stadium. Both are directed by Toby L and produced by Josh Connolly, via UK production house Up The Game.

Anton aims to draw buyers with Zach Strauss’s horror Palette, about a woman (Hunter Schafer) who hears colours, and becomes entangled in the dark side of the design industry. Anton produces alongside Uncle Pete Productions. CAA Media Finance and Verve Ventures co-rep US rights with Anton. David Mackenzie’s heist thriller Fuze, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is also being introduced to buyers.

Bankside Films has two fresh titles at the market: The Fires is the feature debut from Icelandic director Ugla Hauksdottir, a thriller about a volcanologist caught between a love affair and a volcanic eruption. Grimar Jonsson and Klaudia Smieja-­Rostworowska produce. Lola And Freddie is a UK version of US romcom Celeste And Jesse Forever, starring Naomie Harris, Joel Fry and Jameela Jamil, from director Dean Craig.

Black Bear is firing up JJ Perry’s action adventure Afterburn, starring Dave Bautista and Samuel L Jackson. CAA Media Finance reps the US. In a world where technology has been wiped out, an ex-soldier heads on an important mission. Endurance Media, Dogbone Entertainment and Original Film produce. Also on Black Bear’s slate is Clint Bentley’s Train Dreams, starring Joel Edgerton and Felicity Jones, about a day labourer forced to spend long periods away from home, as he works away to help to expand America’s railways, and struggles to make sense of his place in a rapdily changing world. WME Independent handles the US. 

Cornerstone Films is spotlighting The Beacon, a class drama directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, in which a Uganda-born man spent the summer with his girlfriend’s family. Indira Varma, Charles Babalola and Alison Oliver also star in the film, which is produced by Potboiler Productions. Cornerstone also continues sales on supernatural black comedy The Radleys, starring Damian Lewis.

Dogwoof, the documentary specialist, has Black Box Diaries, Shiori Ito’s feature-length investigation of her own sexual assault, in a landmark case in Japan. Hanashi Films, Cineric Creative and Star Sands produce. Dogwoof is also selling Sally Aitken’s documentary Every Little Thing, about a woman who nurtures wounded hummingbirds.

Embankment Films is selling Bolly­woof directed by Frederik Du Chau, where a very British Springer Spaniel gets lost in India. The Amazing Maurice producers Cantilever Media reunite with Sky Cinema, alongside animation studio Mikros Animation. Hope Dickson Leach’s Evelyn Glennie biopic Making Noise, with Morfydd Clark, is also on the slate.

'Haunted Heart'

Source: Film Constellation

‘Haunted Heart’

Film Constellation is hoping buyers fall for Haunted Heart, an English-­language thriller set on a Greek island, that focuses on the dangerous power of lust, directed by Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba and starring Matt Dillon and Aida Folch. Cristina Huete and Dago Garcia produce. Revenge thriller Animale is another key title, helmed by Emma Benestan and set in the world of French bull fighting.

HanWay Films is hoping Tornado will take off with buyers, a survival thriller from John Maclean that stars Tim Roth and Jack Lowden. The story is set in 1790s Britain, following the perils facing of a young Japanese woman. Producers are Tea Shop Productions. Also on the slate is Winter Of The Crow, a Poland-set Cold War thriller starring Lesley Manville.

Independent Entertainment is screening Amrou Al-Kadhi’s Layla, following its world premiere at Sundance, about the romance between a British-Palestinian drag performer and a white gay man. It is produced by UK producer Savannah James-Bayly of Fox Cub Films.

Metro International has Carl Tibbetts’ crime thriller Sweet Dreams. A woman meets a gruesome death at the hands of a dysfunctional couple, sparking a chain of grisly events. Aimee Lou Wood, Niamh Algar, Nick Frost and Paapa Essiedu star. Matthew James Wilkinson produces.

Protagonist Pictures is selling Thordur Palsson’s psychological horror The Damned, starring Odessa Young and Joe Cole. A 19th-century widow must make an impossible choice. Elation Pictures produces alongside Wild Atlantic Pictures, and CAA reps the US sale. Also on Protagonist’s slate is David Zellner and Nathan Zellner’s dialogue-free Bigfoot drama Sasquatch Sunset, starring Riley Keough and Jesse Eisenberg.

Mister Smith Entertainment unfolds The Strangers’ Case, a Berlinale Special Gala title, with WME Independent overseeing North American sales. The drama begins in Syria, and ripples through five families in four countries. Yasmine Al Massri and Omar Sy star in the feature directing debut of producer Brandt Andersen. Andersen also produced the feature with Ossama Bawardi, Ryan Busse and Charlie Endean.

Rocket Science is showing first footage of Peter Cattaneo’s The Penguin Lessons, starring Steve Coogan. The true story follows a disillusioned Englishman working in a school in Argentina in 1976, whose life is turned around by the arrival of a penguin; 42 produces and CAA Media Finance reps the US. Sales continue on Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice, with Sebastian Stan and Jeremy Strong.

SC Films International has first footage of Mike Wiluan’s creature feature Orang Ikan, a Second World War action adventure set in Indonesia. Production companies are Zhao Wei Films and Gorylah Pictures. SC Films is also market premiering family animation Dragonkeeper, after seven years in production.

Signature Entertainment is continuing sales on action thriller Take Cover, starring Scott Adkins and Alice Eve, directed by Nick McKinless and produced by Ben Jacques. A burned-out hitman finds himself trapped in a glass penthouse by a lethal opponent.

WestEnd Films has Virginia Gilbert’s psychological thriller Reawakening, about a couple whose daughter reappears after going missing a decade earlier. Jared Harris, Juliet Stevenson and Erin Doherty. star for Rustle Up Productions and Little Light Film. Sales also continue on Eran Riklis’s Reading Lolita In Tehran, starring Golshifteh Farahani and Zar Amir-Ebrahim, set in post-revolution Iran.

101 Films International leads with Ian Higgins and Dominic Higgins’ The Shamrock Spitfire, which chronicles the true story of one of the most celebrated fighter pilots of the Second World War. Shane O’Regan and Chris Kaye star.

Alief is launching sales on Lucy Cohen’s directing debut Edge Of Summer, ahead of its world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival. An 11-year-old girl’s summer trip to Cornwall takes a dark turn after meeting a local boy. Dorothy St Pictures produces.

AMP is selling Joe Lynch’s horror Suitable Flesh, based on a short story by HP Lovecraft. After murdering her young patient, a once-esteemed psychiatrist’s life unravels. Heather Graham stars alongside Barbara Crampton, who is also a producer on the project.

Blue Finch Films is championing Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s Samurai and western-inspired Rotterdam premiere Steppenwolf, about an unlikely duo who will stop at nothing to find what they are looking for, starring Berik Aitzhanov and Anna Starchenko.

Brilliant Pictures leads with supernatural horror The Curse, starring Hicham Belaoudi, Lina El Arabi and Ouidad Elma, about a Moroccan girl who moves to Paris and falls prey to frightening phenomena. Abel Danan directs.

Canoe Film premieres Thomas Pickering’s feature documentary I Could Never Go Vegan, which explores whether the leading arguments facing the vegan movement are justified. Executive producers include Alicia Silverstone, Peter Egan and Heather Mills.

Devilworks is selling sci-fi feature Alien Hunt, about a family of hunters investigating a military science outpost on their land. Aaron Mirtes directs, while Megan Nielsen, Barron Boedecker and Brent Bentley star.

Film Seekers has a first market screening of James Clarke and Daniel Shepherd’s revenge story Sunray, created by and starring real former Royal Marine commandos. A war veteran calls on friends from his military past help him take revenge.

GFM Film Sales is screening first footage of Kevin Lewis’s home-invasion thriller Misdirection, starring Olga Kurylenko and Frank Grillo. A criminal couple find the tables have been turned, as the hunters become the hunted. Sister outfit GFM Animation is selling the first-ever fully animated Looney Tunes feature-length movie, The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie.

Jinga Films will introduce buyers to Craig Tuohy’s home-invasion thriller Everybody Is Going To Die. A womanising father’s attempts to reconcile with his estranged daughter get derailed.

Kaleidoscope is bringing Helena Coan’s true crime documentary The Lie to the market, which unfurls around the murder of 21-year-old British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand in 2018.

Moviehouse Entertainment leads with Rotterdam opening night film Head South, a post-punk coming-of-age story set in 1979 New Zealand, written and directed by Jonathan Ogilvie and starring Ed Oxenbould, Stella Bennett and Marton Csokas.

Reason8 has Razka Robby Ertanto’s Rotterdam premiere Yohanna, a drama that addresses the exploitation of children in Indonesia’s workforce; Laura Basuki stars.

Screenbound is bringing Saucy — Secrets Of The British Sex Comedy, Simon Sheridan’s documentary examining UK sexploitation movies that were made during the 1960s and 1970s.