"NORTHMEN - A VIKING SAGA" ACQUIRED FOR DISTRIBUTION AND PREMIUM PAY TV DEAL WITH STARZ
Beverly Hills, Calif., October 31, 2014 -- Starz announced today they have landed the rights for the film Northmen -- A Viking Saga from Ascot Elite Entertainment Group. The newly inked deal covers all distribution rights across all platforms including theatrical for the U.S. and Canada as well as a future exclusive U.S. pay TV premiere on the STARZ premium networks. Northmen is directed by Claudio Fäh and produced by Ralph S. Dietrich. Samantha Horley of the Salt Company, which handles worldwide sales rights, negotiated the deal on behalf of Ascot Elite.
"Northmen is visually stunning, full of action and just the type of film fans will love across any platform," commented Kevin Kasha, head of acquisitions for Starz. "We're so pleased the filmmakers selected Starz as the home for its film."
"We are extremely happy to be partnering with Starz in the U.S. and Canada for distribution of Northmen -- A Viking Saga," added Ralph S. Dietrich, producer. "As one of the most highly-regarded and respected distributors in North America, we're confident that Starz will bring Northmen to its full potential in two of our most important territories."
Banished from their homeland by their own king, a group of ruthless Vikings bear down on Britain, intent on plunder and pillaging. Under the command of their daring leader Asbjörn (Tom Hopper), they embark on a dangerous mission: to rob the monasteries of their treasures and with it, to buy back their freedom. Their journey is disrupted however, when they are caught in a vicious storm, which leaves them shipwrecked on the Scottish coast. Stranded behind enemy lines, their only chance of survival is to make it to the distant Viking-settlement Danelaw. En route, the Vikings successfully capture the feisty Lady Inghean (Charlie Murphy), daughter of King Dunchaid (Danny Keogh). The banished warriors seize their opportunity for a high ransom, but King Dunchaid, well-prepared in battle, summons his most ruthless mercenary army the 'Wolf Pack' - a band of men feared for their cruelty across the land. It is only with the help of a mysterious monk called Conall (Ryan Kwanten), that the Northmen finally manage to escape from the 'Wolf Pack' and their merciless leaders Hjorr (Ed Skrein) and Bovarr (Anatole Taubman). As Conall leads the Vikings through the only safe route to Danelaw - the long forgotten "Path of the Serpent" - a relentless race against time begins; a hunt for life and death.
Northmen - A Viking Saga stars Tom Hopper ("Black Sails"), Ryan Kwanten ("True Blood"), Ken Duken (Inglorious Basterds), Charlie Murphy (Philomena), James Norton (Rush), Ed Skrein (Transporter), Anatole Tauban (Lost Place) and Johan Hegg, frontman of death metal band, Amon Amarth. The film is a co-production between Elite Filmproduktion AG, Two Oceans Production Ltd., and Jumping Horse Film GmbH. It was produced by Ralph S. Dietrich, Karin G. Dietrich, Daniel Höltschi, Frank Kaminski, Ulrich Stiehm, Marco Del Bianco, Rolf Wappenschmitt, Giselher Venzke and Bertha Spieker.
About Elite Filmproduktion AG
An offshoot of ASCOT ELITE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, est. in 1929, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Munich and Stuttgart, and one of the leading independent distributors in Europe. ELITE FILMPRODUKTION has produced more than 300 movies such as NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS (Antonio Banderas, Rebecca De Mornay), STORIA DI PIERA (Isabelle Huppert, Hanna Schygulla, Marcello Mastroianni), THE WILD GEESE (Roger Moore, Richard Burton), THE COMMANDER (Lee van Cleef, Lewis Collins), COMMANDO LEOPARD (Klaus Kinski, Lewis Collins). Recent Co-Productions include CARGO (Sci-Fi-Thriller) and DER VERDINGBUB (highest grossing Swiss film 2011). With NORTHMEN - A VIKING SAGA, Elite Entertainment Group returns producing for the International market.
The Salt Company
Salt produces, finances, markets, packages and sells films by new and established filmmakers: from the upcoming Miss You Already starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette to be directed by Catherine Hardwicke and The Geography of Hope from writer/director Neil LaBute with Ed Harris to Dirty Girl with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich and William H. Macy (released by The Weinstein Co). Other projects include Slingshot Studios' comedy hit The Infidel written by David Baddiel and starring Omid Djalili; Fernando Meirelles' City of Men (released by Miramax); Cleanskin, starring Sean Bean and Charlotte Rampling (UK: Warner Bros / US: Entertainment One); horror comedy Grabbers directed by Jon Wright which premiered in Sundance (UK: Sony / US: IFC Films); comedy Welcome to the Jungle with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Adam Brody (UK/US: Universal); feature documentary Sunshine Superman which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 2014 (ROW: Universal / US: Magnolia) and Viking epic Northmen - A Viking Saga (UK: Entertainment One / Germany: Paramount). With combined experience on 70+ feature films over the last ten years, the Salt principals have raised in excess of $150 million in production financing (excluding pre-sales).
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ(r) and ENCORE(r) pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2014, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 56.2 million subscribers, including 22.5 million at STARZ, and 33.7 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ(r) and ENCORE(r), along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX(r), air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.
About Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading home entertainment company. Anchor Bay acquires and distributes feature films, original television programming including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, anime (Manga Entertainment), fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports, and other filmed entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray(TM) formats. The company has long term distribution agreements in place for select programming with AMC Networks, RADiUS, and The Weinstein Company. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment has offices in Troy, MI, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Anchor Bay Entertainment (www.anchorbayentertainment.com) is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.
About Starz Digital Media
Starz Digital Media is a leading distributor of digital and on-demand content. Starz Digital Media distributes original programming content (Starz and AMC), feature films (The Weinstein Company, Anchor Bay Films, Starz Digital Media), anime (Manga Entertainment) and other filmed entertainment utilizing various business models including download-to-own/electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported streaming. Starz Digital Media also programs and supports numerous ad-supported broadband channels and develops games, applications and other related content from many of its properties for distribution worldwide. Starz Digital Media is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.