Berlin-based sales agency Picture Tree Intl. has picked up “Woodland” (“Wald”), written and directed by Elisabeth Scharang, which has its world premiere in the Centrepiece section at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film’s trailer has also just been launched.
Picture Tree Intl. also handled world sales on Scharang’s sophomore feature film, “Jack,” which also played at Toronto.
“Woodland” is inspired by the novel “Wald” from bestselling author Doris Knecht, and the personal experience of Scharang, who witnessed the attack of a terrorist shooter in Vienna in 2020 in which four people were killed and 23 others were injured. The film marks Scharang’s second collaboration with DOP Jörg Widmer, who is a frequent collaborator with Terrence Malick.
In “Woodland,” Marian Malin (Brigitte Hobmeier) has everything she could wish for — a passion, a job and love — until she and her husband (Bogdan Dumitrache) fall victim to a terrorist attack in Vienna. The external injuries heal quickly, but Marian’s trauma is so deep that she flees to the abandoned countryside house of her grandparents, a few miles from the village where she grew up. Roaming the woods, Marian slowly rediscovers the sense of freedom she felt as a child but also reopens old wounds of her former best friends Gerti (Gerti Drassl) and Franz (Johannes Krisch), who stayed behind.
“Woodland” is Scharang’s third theatrical narrative feature film after “In Another Life” (2010), which premiered at the Zürich Film Festival, and “Jack” (2015), the portrait of convicted serial killer Jack Unterweger, who became a celebrity for his literary output during his sentence and committed suicide after being accused of a new series of murders following his release.
“Woodland” is produced by Wega Film, the production company behind many international successes, including “Amour” and “The White Ribbon” by Michael Haneke. Michael Katz and Veit Heiduschka are serving as lead producers for Wega Film, in co-production with the Austrian public broadcaster ORF, and with the support of the Austrian Film Institute, the region of Lower Austria (Kultur Niederösterreich), the Film Fund Vienna and FISA.
“Woodland” joins PTI’s slate of upcoming films such as Chris Kraus’ sequel to “Four Minutes,” titled “15 Years,” to be released in Germany by Wild Bunch Germany; “Weekend Rebels” by Marc Rothemund, to be released by Leonine on Sept. 28; the bestseller adaptation “A Whole Life” by Hans Steinbichler, set for theatrical release by Tobis Film on Nov. 8; Ulrike Kofler’s second feature “Gina” (in post-production), which follows her Netflix feature debut “What We Wanted”; and Israeli dramedy “Running on Sand” by Adar Shafran, set for a late autumn release by United King.
Watch the trailer for “Woodland” below.