EXCLUSIVE: Rising British actor Callum Turner (Masters Of The Air, The Boys In The Boat) is set to star alongside Norway’s Kristine Kujath Thorp (Ninjababy, Sick of Myself) and Sweden’s Gustav Lindh (The Northman, Queen of Hearts) in Dara Van Dusen’s A Prayer For The Dying.
Anton and New Europe Films sales have co-acquired international rights for the upcoming English-language survival thriller.
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Based on a novel by Stewart O’Nan, the film takes place in 1870 in Friendship, Wisconsin, a small town of Scandinavian settlers still suffering the repercussions of the recent Civil War.
When faced with a new and even deadlier threat, one man is forced to make a harrowing choice: save his young family or defend the community that gave him a second chance at life and meaning.
The film will shoot in early summer 2024.
New Europe CEO Jan Naszewski said of the feature: “Rarely can we find a story that so organically combines European and U.S. history – a thriller set in the community of Scandinavian settlers. We’re excited for Dara to bring it to life.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this bold cinematic debut starring the immensely talented Callum Turner, helmed by the visionary Dara van Dusen. This collaboration promises an unforgettable experience for audiences worldwide,” added Anton EVP International Distribution and Acquisitions Louis Balsan.
Van Dusen is a writer and director from New York, currently residing in Oslo, Norway. She has secured numerous development and production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.
A Prayer For The Dying marks Van Dusen’s first feature-length film after three short including Significant Others, which competed in Cannes Official Selection, and her most recent work The Blind Man – an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s short story – which was nominated for Best Nordic Short and selected in the Nordic Panorama.
The movie is produced by Dyveke Bjørkly Graver and Andrea Berentsen Ottmar for Eye Eye Pictures. Their credits include Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World and Kristoffer Borgli’s Sick of Myself.
Coproducers include Mimmi Spång for Garagefilm International, Tristan Goligher for The Bureau, Film i Väst and John Baker.
“Since I first read the script, I was pulled in by this riveting and thought-provoking story, and Dara’s ambitious director’s vision makes it all the more powerful. Having Callum Turner on board, as our main character Jacob, is all we could have hoped for and I can’t wait to bring this film out to audiences,” commented Bjørkly Graver.
The production is supported by Creative Europe, Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute and UK Global Screen Fund.
Anton and New Europe will have a promo and script available at EFM. WME Independent will co-rep North American sales.
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