Memento International Closes More Deals on Sundance-Prizewinning ‘Luzzu,’ SXSW Title ‘The Drover’s Wife’

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Memento International (“Call Me By Your Name”) has closed a raft of sales on Leah Purcell’s Australian revenge tale “The Drover’s Wife, The Legend of Molly Johnson,” and Alex Camilleri’s “Luzzu” which world premiered at SXSW and Sundance.

After selling North American rights to “The Drover’s Wife” to Samuel Goldwyn, Memento has sold “The Drover’s Wife” to the U.K. (Modern Film), Latin America (Encripta), Greece (Spentzos), Bulgaria (Film Vision), Ex Yugoslavia, (Megacom), Indonesia (PT Falcon) and Airlines (Anuvu). The film is being handled by Roadshow Films in Australia.

A searing Western thriller, the play “The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson” is a reimagining of Henry Lawson’s classic short story “The Drover’s Wife” and an adaptation of Purcell’s successful Australian stage play.

The story is set in 1893, and centers on the heavily pregnant Molly Johnson (Purcell) and her children, who struggle in isolation to survive the harsh Australian landscape after her husband leaves to go drive sheep in the high country. One day, she finds a shackled Aboriginal fugitive named Yakada (Rob Collins) wounded on her property and forms an unlikely bond with him. Molly soon becomes the target of the suspicious lawman Nate Clintoff (Sam Reid) who sends an officer to her home. The encounter between Molly, the officer and Yakada turns deadly and results in a tragic chain of events with Molly becoming a symbol of feminism and anti-racism.

“Luzzu” won Sundance’s Special Jury Award for its lead actor, Jesmark Scicluna, and was acquired by Kino Lorber for North American. Memento International has now scored more deals on “Luzzu” for Switzerland (Trigon), Brazil (Synapse), Indonesia (PT Falcon). Kino Lorber will release the film later this year.

Camilleri’s feature debut, “Luzzu” follows the journey of Jesmark, a struggling fisherman on the island of Malta who is forced to risk everything by entering the world of black market fishing in order to provide for his wife and newborn baby.

Memento International recently boarded international sales on “Legend of Destruction,” an animated feature by Israeli filmmaker Gidi Dar (“Ushpizin”), produced by Lama Films (“Tel Aviv on Fire,” “Paradise Now”) and created by the artists behind the Oscar-nominated “Waltz With Bashir.”

By Elsa Keslassy for Variety


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