Sundance Winner ‘Surge’, Starring Ben Whishaw, Gets North America Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Sundance and Berlin 2020 drama Surge, starring Ben Whishaw, has sold to FilmRise for North America.

Skyfall and A Very English Scandal star Whishaw leads the UK drama about a security guard at Stansted Airport crumbling under the strain of his job and the pressures of a dysfunctional family. A series of frustrations leads him to commit an impulsive act of rebellion, an act that releases a wilder side of his personality which takes him on an uninhibited journey across the British capital.

FilmRise has taken theatrical, digital and broadcast rights. The deal was negotiated by Katie Carroll, Manager, Independent Film Acquisition at FilmRise and George Hamilton, Head of Sales at Protagonist Pictures.

Surge marks Aneil Karia’s (Top Boy) feature directorial debut. We spoke to Karia ahead of the film’s debut at Sundance.

The film had its worldwide premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where Ben Whishaw won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting and its international premiere at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama Section. It also was a special selection at the Glasgow Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival and Hainan International Film Festival.

Pic is produced by Julia Godzinskaya and Sophie Vickers of Rooks Nest and financed by BBC Film, the British Film Institute, Protagonist Pictures and Split Prism Media. Executive producers are Eva Yates and Rose Garnett for BBC Film, Lizzie Francke for BFI, and Will Norton for Rooks Nest; co-producer is Scott O’Donnell.

FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher commented: “Ben Whishaw’s standout performance in this new must-watch indie thriller is a great and exciting addition to our expanding library of films featuring award-winning performances by one of the best actors of his generation.”

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