Kon-Tiki screened at the AFI Festival earlier this week. Our own Nicole Melkonian had the greatest words for the Foreign Language hopeful earlier. The Weinstein Company has just acquired the submission by Norway.. Who will be nabbing the Foreign Language film Oscar? The Weinsteins also have France’s submission, The Intouchables. Read the full press release after the jump.
New York, NY – November 7, 2012 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today they have acquired rights for the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and Italy from Hanway Films KON-TIKI. The film, which tells the real-life adventure of Thor Heyerdahl’s world-famous seafaring voyage, is the official Oscar® entry of Norway for Best Foreign Language Film. KON-TIKI is directed by Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, with a script by Petter Skavlan. The film had its US premiere this week at AFI Fest.
KON-TIKI opened to huge numbers in Norway in August, and the box office is continuing to climb past $13.4 million as it holds strong in theaters. TWC plans to release the English language version of the film in 2013.
In the true story of KON-TIKI, a dangerous seafaring adventure, six men sail from Peru to Polynesia risking their lives for an idea that could change history. Thor Heyerdahl (Hagen) – a restless spirit, along with five loyal buddies, follow an ancient path 4,300 miles across the Pacific on the fragile raft. Attacked by tidal waves, sharks and all the dangers the Ocean can muster, it’s six men battling with nature as Kon-Tiki strives to reach land. Having sacrificed everything for his mission, even his marriage, Thor must succeed.
The cast includes Pål Sverre Hagen as Thor, who attracted much critical acclaim during the North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Odd-Magnus Williamson, Tobias Santelmann, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Jakob Oftebro and Gustaf Skarsgård. Heyerdahl’s book Kon-Tiki has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in 67 languages, and his documentary on the voyage won an Academy Award® for Best Documentary in 1951.
“We are extremely honored to be bringing this epic story to audiences everywhere,” said Harvey Weinstein. “Roenning and Sandberg have really captured a special story, portrayed through incredible performances from the cast. We couldn’t be happier to be working with Hanway Films for this project.”
“I am delighted to see our vision for the film shared by The Weinstein Company who have many great ideas for the release of the film,” said Producer Jeremy Thomas.
KON-TIKI was produced by Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company with Aage Aaberge on behalf of Nordisk Film. Thomas’ HanWay Films are handling worldwide sales. The development of the film was supported by the Stenersen family of Oslo, the publishers of many of Thor Heyerdahl’s books, who were one of the key investors in the film. Executive-producers include Lone Korslund of Nordisk Film, and Dario Suter, Christoph Daniel and Marc Schmidheiney of DCM Productions, who also hold German rights.
Directing team Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg began making videos together in their native Oslo. Forming their commercial and music video company Roenberg in 1993, and their production house Motion Blur in 2002, their extensive work in Scandinavia led to international campaigns for Airbus, Nintendo, Coca Cola and Nokia, and their award-winning Superbowl spot for Budweiser. Their 2008 war drama Max Manus has become the highest grossing Norwegian film ever.
The deal was negotiated by TWC COO David Glasser, President of Acquisitions Mark Gooder, and Negeen Yazdi Senior VP acquisitions with Thorsten Schumacher, MD of HanWay Films.
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio’s history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius’s THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay’s UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH’S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; and BULLY. Currently in release are LAWLESS, THE MASTER, THE INTOUCHABLES and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. Upcoming releases include QUARTET, DJANGO UNCHAINED and ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH.
TWC is also active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production and current President of Television Meryl Poster, with credits including the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series Project Runway, spin-off series Project Runway All Stars and Project Accessory, the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, spin-off series Big Ang and Mob Wives: Chicago, and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency which also received a Peabody Award. The company is currently in pre-production on the martial-arts epic Marco Polo for Starz. TWC additionally has 17 series in different stages of development, including The Nanny Diaries, being adapted for ABC by Amy Sherman Palladino (Gilmore Girls).
Recorded Picture Company’s previous films include nine-time Academy Award® winner The Last Emperor, Sexy Beast, Crash, Young Adam, and The Dreamers. Recent productions include David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Vincent Cassel, which premiered at the Venice, Toronto, New York and London Film Festivals in 2011. RPC is in post-production on Jim Jarmusch’s vampire opus Only Lovers Left Alive starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and John Hurt, and is currently shooting Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant and Demian Bichir.
HanWay Films’ current slate includes Dom Hemingway starring Jude Law, Richard E Grant and Demian Bechir from director Richard Shepard; Jim Jarmusch’s vampire opus Only Lovers Left Alive starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska; Seven Psychopaths starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken from director Martin McDonagh; Quartet directed by Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman; Great Expectations starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine; Bernardo Bertolucci’s Me and You; A Long Way Down starring Pierce Brosnan and directed by Pascal Choumeil; Tracks starring Mia Wasikowska; God Help The Girl starring Emily Browning from director Stuart Murdoch and producer Barry Mendel; Reykjavik starring Michael Douglas and Christoph Waltz; Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska, and Errol Morris’ new documentary The Unknown Known.