They plan to introduce the feature to buyers at Toronto.
“The Occupant” is based on Hugo Keijzer’s short film of the same name, which was a hit on the festival circuit. Keijzer is co-writing – alongside Philip M. Howe and Roelof-Jan Minneboo – and directing the feature-length version, which will shoot in Georgia and Ireland in early 2022.
The film centers around Abby (played by Balinska) who must navigate the Russian wilderness as she embarks on a quest to help her dying sister. It is described as a “high concept sci-fi thriller, with a powerful psychological story at its core.”
Raymond van der Kaaij will produce for Revolver Amsterdam (“Love and Friendship”) alongside Maurice Schutte and Elwin Looije.
Altitude will exec produce and represent worldwide sales.
“‘The Occupant’ is both a visceral survival story and a gripping journey into the unknown, which will be an immense challenge both physically and mentally for our lead actress,” says Keijzer. “I’m thrilled to be working with Ella on this. She embraces the unique challenges that come with this project and she’s not afraid to reveal her most vulnerable side. I believe she has all the makings of a superstar.”
“’The Occupant’ is exactly the kind of smart, involving and thrilling material we are looking for and we are excited to partner with Hugo and the team to help bring their bold and dynamic vision to audiences worldwide,” said Altitude’s Mike Runagall.
The feature has received finance from the Dutch Film Fund and a grant from Epic Games with the possibility of using the studio’s Unreal Engine, virtual production technology that has already been utilized in “The Mandalorian.”