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PTI’s Diverse AFM Schedule Includes Five Market Premieres For Horror Film Smother

Picture Tree International has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the Austrian horror film “Smother” by up-and-coming filmmaker Achmed Abdelsalam. The theatrical premiere of the Glitter and Doom production is tentatively scheduled for early 2023.

After the unexpected death of her estranged father, Michi, a young mother, and former alcoholic choose to spend a few days in the inherited summer cottage with her little daughter Hanna in an attempt to restore her daughter’s confidence.

During the first night, she begins to be haunted by long-repressed childhood memories clouded by her mother’s suicide. Michi’s attempts to numb herself with alcohol only drive her daughter Hanna further away and exacerbate her paranoia. Michi must confront her demons when they begin to harm her daughter as well in order to save her.

Picture Tree IntlAFM .’s slate includes a variety of new international films, including a first visual pitch promo for “A Whole Life” by Hans Steinbichler (“The Diary of Anne Frank,” Sky TV series “Das Boot”), based on the best-selling novel by Robert Seethaler and adapted by Ulrich Limmer, whose credits include Oscar nominee “Schtonk.”

The story of one humble man’s journey through eight decades of the twentieth century marked by poverty, war, and violence, as well as a few moments of love, first published in 2014, has been translated into over 40 languages and is being produced by Austria’s Epo-Film in co-production with Germany’s Tobis Film, which will also distribute the film locally in the fall of 2023.

“Alma & Oskar” by Dieter Berner (“Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden”), starring Emily Cox (“The Last Kingdom”), chronicles the tumultuous connection between the Viennese society grande dame Alma Mahler and the expressionist artist and enfant terrible Oskar Kokoschka.

PTI's Diverse AFM Schedule Includes Five Market Premieres For Horror Film Smother

Film AG (Austria), Wüste Film (Germany), Turnus Film (Switzerland), and Dawson Films co-produce “Alma & Oskar” (Czech Republic).

The acclaimed writer-director Mariana engel Solanská’s “The Chambermaid” is also being presented by PTI. The period drama, produced by Bright Sight Pictures in Slovakia and Cinemart TV Prague in the Czech Republic, depicts a time of social and political upheaval surrounding World War I and the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire in Eastern Europe.

These developments, which usher in a new era, are paralleled by an unorthodox love tale between two girls born in the same year but into separate social worlds. “The Chambermaid” is expected to premiere at a festival this fall and to be released domestically in early 2023.

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The Iranian genre crossover “Without Her,” about a woman’s illusion of autonomous choice and the demands to conform or be supplanted by the forces that pick for you, will also make its market debut.

“Without Her” premiered at the Venice and Toronto film festivals under the direction of Arian Vazirdaftari and is produced by Houman Seyedi of Fadak Films, who directed this year’s Iranian Oscar candidate “World War III.”

Another market premiere is the Canadian film “This Place” from Hometeam Films and Mutuals Pictures, starring rising actor Devery Jacobs, who appeared in “The Residents” and is confirmed for Marvel’s upcoming picture “Echo.”

“This Place” had its global premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and depicts the story of two young ladies who fall in love while living in the liminal area between civilizations, displaced at home and abroad. “This Place” is a gay love story that transcends the protagonists’ tangible chemistry, according to the Toronto Star.

Also on PTI’s docket is the crime-comedy feature series “Bavarian Rhapsody,” of which the eighth episode, “Guglhupf Squadron,” is now on release in Germany with about 1.4 million admissions and an overall box office of over $50 million.

“Schachten” by Thomas Roth, a film depicting the struggles of the post-war generation to obtain justice for Holocaust crimes, “A Stasi Comedy,” the third feature in Leander Haussmann’s GDR-themed trilogy, and Jordan’s Oscar entry and Toronto world premiere “Farha” by writer-director Darin J. Sallam, a film inspired by true events about a 14-year-old girl in Jordan, will also be shown to buyers.