Lone Scherfig Drama; HBO Europe Hacker Drama; ‘Strange But True’ US Deal – Berlin Briefs

Andrea Riseborough (Death of Stalin), Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick) will star in writer and director Lone Scherfig’s modern-day fairy tale Secrets from the Russian Tea Room. Scherfig was responsible for An Education and Their Finest. The film tells the story of four people in New York City through the worst crises of their lives, the year they gradually become each other’s closest allies and forever change one another’s lives through compassion, kindness and love. HanWay Films has acquired worldwide sales and distribution rights backed by Ingenious Media and Apollo Media. The film is produced by Malene Blenkov (Bridgend) for Creative Alliance and Canada’s Strada Films, in co-production with France’s D’Artagnan, Germany’s Nadcon and Sweden’s Unlimited Stories. It is financed with the support of the Danish Film Institute and Telefilm Canada, DR, Copenhagen Film Fund, the Swedish Film Institute, Film Väst, SF Studio, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, ARTE Grand Accord/WDR, Entertainment One and Ingenious Senior Film Fund. Secrets of the Russian Tea Room will start production this spring in New York, Toronto and Copenhagen and will shoot at the iconic and spectacular Russian Tea Room in Manhattan. Separately, HanWay Films has come on board Suburra’s Giuseppe Capotondi neo-noir thriller, The Burnt Orange Heresy, based on the screenplay written by Scott B. Smith.

HBO Europe and German broadcaster TNT Serie are partnering on six-part cyber drama Hackerville. The two European broadcasters have commissioned FremantleMedia’s UFA Fiction and Mobra Films to produce the series, which follows a network of hackers and the investigators tasked with tracking them down. It is both broadcasters’ first moves into co-productions. It was created by Ralph Martin and Joerg Winger from UFA Fiction and will be produced by Cristian Mungiu and Tudor Reu and exec produced by Winger and Johnathan Young. Igor Cobileanski (Umbre) and Anca Miruna Lazarescu (That Trip We Took with Dad) will directors from a script by Laurențiu Rusescu, Daniel Sandu, Ralph Martin and Steve Bailie. HBO Europe will premiere Hackerville across its territories in Central Europe, Scandinavia and Spain, while TNT Serie will premiere the series in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Turner International will handle all sales outside the HBO Europe and US territory. Antony Root, EVP, Original Programming and Production for HBO Europe. said: “Hackerville is a fast, fresh and highly entertaining story set on the front-line of one of the biggest modern day threats and with huge resonance internationally.

Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear’s mystery thriller Strange But True is heading to the U.S. after CBS Films acquired the rights to the Automatik and First Generation Films project. The film follows the story of a couple that receive a visit from a pregnant woman, who claims that their son, who “died” five years ago, is the father of her child. It is directed by Rowan Athale, written by Eric Garcia and based on John Searles’ novel. Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley, Brian Cox, Blythe Danner, Mena Massoud, and Connor Jessup also star. Bankside launched the feature in Berlin and struck the deal in association with Endeavor Content with CBS Films.

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