Susanne Bier's Danish drama Open Hearts has been picked up for US distribution by Bob Berney's Newmarket Films, marking the first straight acquisition for the company which is a division of Newmarket Capital Group. The film, sold by Trust Film Sales, was given a private screening at Cannes this year but had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this week and is in main competition at San Sebastian later this month.
Made according to the Dogme rules which have spawned other acclaimed films such as The Celebration, The Idiots, Mifune, Italian For Beginners, The King Is Alive and Minor Mishaps, Open Hearts opened in Denmark last Friday to strong reviews and 14,000 admissions on its first night.
Zentropa's Vibeke Windeloev produced the film, and Bier wrote the story of troubled relationships with busy writer-director talent Anders Thomas Jensen. Open Hearts is her first Dogme-film following her Danish box-office sensation The One And Only and the Swedish Once In A Lifetime.
Trust Film Sales also secured a sale to Germany's Arsenal Filmverleigh, and has previously sold Spanish, Israel as well as UK and Australian rights to Golem, Shani Films and Icon Film Distribution respectively.
The heart-wrenching drama, which was made in accordance with the Dogme-rules, stars Mads Mikkelsen (I Am Dina), Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Truly Human), Paprika Steen (Okay) and has talented newcomer Sonja Richter in the lead role. It follow a young couple, who are planning to marry, when a car accident leaves him paralysed. The driver of the car convinces her doctor husband to help the devastated girl, but soon all involved have their lives turned upside down.
Berney had previously released The King Is Alive when he was at IFC Films. His first release under Newmarket is a joint venture release with HBO Films - Real Women Have Curves - which opens in the US on Oct 18; Newmarket will also release Jonas Akerlund's drug drama Spun starring Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo and Britanny Murphy.