Kirsti Barnett’s haunted house horror script They Hide In The Dark will form part of a small NZ contingent looking to do business at the Berlinale’s European Film Market (EFM).
Canadian producer Lindsay Moffat (telefeatures PopFan, Tasmanian Devils, Christmas in Canaan) will present the project in Berlin.
Barnett and Moffat first connected some years ago when Barnett placed They Hide in the Dark on US script sourcing site InkTip. Moffat expressed his interest in the project at the time but there was already a producer attached.
After that producer had left the project, Barnett and Moffat connected again. Moffat came on board and began to put in place plans to finance the project.
The film is budgeted at a little over US$1 million, with production proposed for the first half of 2016. To date there’s a UK equity fund in place which offers tax rebates on investment without any requirements to to any of the production’s work in the UK.
The story is a contained one, at least as far as locations are concerned. Although it’s US-set, it could be shot in plenty of places, Barnett reckoned.
As well as They Hide in the Dark Barnett is advancing other scripts including creature horror 39 Days, which was one of two projects picked up by Richard Fletcher and Paul Davis’ Libertine Pictures out of last year’s Big Break competition. Prior to being optioned by Libertine, the script had performed well in several US scriptwriting competitions.Barnett and Moffat hope to raise about half the budget for They Hide in the Dark from the UK equity fund and soft money. To some degree, that will depending on where the film ends up being made and what incentives are on offer in that territory.
Moffat is presenting They Hide in the Dark at EFM looking for sales agents and/or distributors, with a view to raising as much of the reminder of the budget as possible through pre-sales (MGs).
Unusually, no NZ films were selected for the Berlinale this year so there’s a smaller than usual Kiwi presence around the festival. Also attending the market will be The Dead Lands producer Tainui Stephens, who’s repping Maoriland Film Festival at the NATIVe – Indigenous Cinema stand.
A small number of NZ distributors also make the trip, including VM Distribution, IndieReign, and Vendetta, whose Jill Macnab is also a producer on Tammy Davis’ upcoming Born to Dance. As usual, the NZIFF will have a rep there, adding to its wish list for this year’s edition.