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Cannes: Altitude, Wild Bunch Board ‘Beats’

Variety logo Variety 5/9/2017 Robert Mitchell
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Altitude Film Sales and Wild Bunch have both boarded British film “Beats,” from executive producer Steven Soderbergh, which they will introduce to buyers at the Cannes Film Market.

The two companies will split worldwide sales rights between them, with Altitude taking North America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, German-speaking territories, Italy and Spain, as well as rights for airlines and ships. Wild Bunch will represent Benelux, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, all Asia, Israel, Middle East and Turkey.

Altitude Film Distribution has additionally taken rights to the film for U.K. and Ireland, and Wild Bunch for France.

Written and directed by Scottish filmmaker Brian Welsh, co-writing with Kieran Hurley, “Beats” follows the story of two best friends in a small Scottish town in the summer of 1994 who head out for one last night together before life takes them in different directions. Going to an illegal rave, the boys journey into an underworld of anarchy, freedom and collision with the law as they share a night that they will never forget. It is based on Hurley’s original stage play.

“Brian and Kieran have created an irresistible coming-of-age story that is both unique and universal, set against the backdrop of one of the 20th century’s defining cultural movements,” says Mike Runagall, managing director of international sales at Altitude. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Wild Bunch as both companies loved the project and were highly motivated to get involved.”

Soderbergh serves as executive producer for the film, which is produced by Camilla Bray of Rosetta Productions. It was developed by the BFI and Creative Scotland, which provide funding through the U.K. National Lottery alongside partners BBC Scotland and Lipsync.

Bray likens the film to classics that “mythologized a particular youth culture at a specific moment in time,” such as Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” and Shane Meadows “This Is England.”

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