Berlinale Prize Winner ‘Natural Light’ Acquired by Curzon; Luxbox Inks More Deals (EXCLUSIVE)

“Natural Light,” Dénes Nagy’s World War II-set drama which just won the Berlinale Silver Bear for best director, has been sold by Paris-based Luxbox to key markets including the U.K. with Curzon.

Rolling off the EFM, Luxbox has also unveiled deals on the critically acclaimed movie for Portugal (Alambique), Poland (Aurora), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Film Europe) and Turkey (Mars Film).

Set in occupied Soviet Union, the film tells the story of István Semetka, a simple Hungarian farmer who serves as a Caporal in a special unit scouting for partisan groups. On their way to a remote village, his company falls under enemy fire. As the commander is killed, Semetka has to overcome his fears and take command of the unit as he is dragged into a chaos that he cannot control.

Louisa Dent, Curzon’s managing director, described “Natural Light” as “an astonishing debut from Dénes Nagy.”

“We were immediately impressed by the assurance of the direction and rough-hewn beauty he has achieved in collaboration with DOP Tamás Dobos. The film asks urgent moral questions about what it means to stand by while violence is committed in our name,” said Dent.

Luxbox previously sold “Natural Light” in France (Nour), Benelux (Cherry Pickers) and Greece (One From The Heart). “Natural Light” will be released in Hungary by Vertigo Media.

“Appalling and beautifully shot, mesmerising images, remarkable direction and a masterful control of every aspect of the craft of filmmaking, a narration that transcends its historical context,” said Fiorella Moretti and Hédi Zardi, Luxbox co-founders.

Michal Myslinski at Aurora said “Natural Light” was the best anti-war film he’s seen, while Ivan Hronec at Film Europe said the feature debut established Nagy within the “premium league” and compared the helmer with Laszlo Nemes whose “Son of Saul” had a laureled path and “open on the dark side of many european nations.”

Ceren Ulgen at Mars Films said “Natural Light” was a “special film that could satisfy the cinematic longing of our audience.”

Huub Roelvink at Cherry Pickers, meanwhile, said the film delivers a “rare visceral sensory experience, which is testament to the power of cinema.

Patrick Sibour at Nour said the distributor is planning to release the film in france on at least 60 screens during the second half of 2021. “A great, ambitious and talented filmmaker was born,” said Sibour about Nagy.

Lefteris Adamidis at One From The Heart said the thought-provoking film was a “harrowing tale about a man being gradually swallowed by the mechanics of war,” and makes us wonder if “despite our weaknesses we take a stand and fight or remain silent.”

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