Senator International, the new Los Angeles-based sales company run by Joe Drake, has acquired worldwide rights excluding German-speaking Europe and Japan to Oliver Hirschbiegel's surprise hit Das Experiment. Marking the first film picked up by the new outfit since its formation earlier this year, Das Experiment has grossed $7.6m since it was released on March 8 in German-speaking territories by Senator International's sister company distributor Senator Film.
The producers Nobert Preuss of Fanes Film and Marc Conrad and Friedrich Wildfeuer of Typhoon Films AG had previously sold the film to Gaga Communications in Japan in a separate licensing arrangement.
Das Experiment, which recently won three Bavarian Film Awards, is the Big
Brother-like story of 20 men who are hired to play prisoners and guards in a makeshift prison. The bizarre and dangerous experiment eventually has to be stopped as the players adopt the personas of their characters. It stars Mortiz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run) alongside Christian Berkel, Edgar Selge, Andrea Sawatzki, Maren Eggert, Justus von Dohnanyi and Timo Bierkes.
Senator International was recently formed in Los Angeles under Drake, the former president of Lions Gate Films International. At the same time, Carsten Larenz will head Senator Entertainment USA, a new production outfit which plans to establish partnerships with studios on split rights deals, oversee Senator's current joint production and financing ventures and develop new joint venture opportunities.
Senator International is also representing sales on Luis Mandoki's thriller 24 Hours which derives from Senator's joint production venture with Mark Canton's Canton Co. It stars Charlize Theron, Courtney Love, Kevin Bacon and Stuart Townsend.