Sumerian has acquired the North American rights to brutal coming-of-age story “Mascot,” which had its world premiere in January at Slamdance, and its international premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam the same month.
Sumerian is planning a limited theatrical release this year under the English title “Fortunate Son.” The pickup marks the second acquisition for Sumerian’s new film and streaming division, which launched this year.
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Sumerian founder Ash Avildsen said the film is “a dark, brutally authentic and beautifully shot independent film centered around troubled youth in unorthodox households. It will undoubtedly strike a nerve with audiences who appreciate gritty arthouse drama, as it did with me.”
With his radical behavior, teenager Jerry endangers not only himself but his entire family. At first glance, Jerry seems like a normal teenager. He lives with his single mother Abbey and younger sister in a quiet coastal town and helps out at an institution for the mentally handicapped.
But deep inside, Jerry, who was born with deformed teeth, feels lonely and frustrated. Looking for a form of release from this, he participates in illegal fights. When Abbey, who has always given him unconditional but also overwhelming love, starts to let go, something snaps. Jerry’s behavior becomes so radical that it destabilizes not only himself but the entire family.
“Mascot” is written by Gustaaf Peek, directed by Remy van Heugten, and produced by Joram Willink for Bind in The Netherlands. The film stars Liam Jeans, Maartje Remmers, Geert Van Rampelberg, Leopold Witte and Joes Brauers.
Willink said: “After a very warm reception by the audience as well as press at Slamdance, I am thrilled that ‘Mascot’ is brought to a big audience in U.S. cinemas and VOD. Its topic – the psychology of radicalization of a youngster – is more urgent than ever. We are very grateful that Sumerian shares the same vision for the film with its contemporary theme, impact and quality.”
“Mascot” is the second film by Van Heugten, whose debut “Gluckauf” (“Son of Mine”) won four Golden Calves, the Netherlands’ top film prize, including best direction and best film.
“Mascot” is a Bind production in co-production with Savage Film (Belgium) and Dutch broadcaster BNNVARA. Support came from the Netherlands Film Fund, Netherlands Film Production Incentive, CoBO, Flemish Audiovisual Fund and Flanders Tax Shelter.
Willink’s credits include “The Judgement” (2021, Palm Springs and Shanghai film festivals, and four Golden Calves, including best film), “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” (2019, special mention, Berlinale), “Son of Mine” (2015, Rotterdam Tiger Competition, and four Golden Calves, including best film), and “Shouf Shouf Habibi” (2004, Berlinale Panorama).
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