Berlin: Lionsgate U.K. Nabs Space Thriller 'Operation Avalanche' (Exclusive)

Operation Avalanche - H 2015

Operation Avalanche - H 2015

XYZ Films is showing footage from Matt Johnson's second feature in Berlin

Having already boarded Operation Avalanche for North American distribution, Lionsgate has added U.K. rights for the upcoming CIA thriller from Matt Johnson.

The film – which is being officially launched at the European Film Market by XYZ Films – reunites the multi-hyphenate Canadian filmmaker with Owen Williams, his co-star on comedy-drama Dirties, which won a Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival. Williams is being joined in the primary cast by Sharon Belle and Krista Madison.

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While plot details haven’t yet been revealed, the film is set to investigate the CIA’s involvement with the space race in the 1960s. XYZ is serving as executive producer and showing footage for the first time in Berlin. Michael Paseornek, John Sacchi and Jessica Switch are overseeing for Lionsgate, which will premiere the film in the U.S. later this year.

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Alongside Operation Avalanche, XYZ is bringing horror portmanteau Holidays to the EFM, having teamed up with Distant Corners Entertainment on the project. Johnson is set to director one of the vignettes – each based on international holiday celebrations – and other helmers include regular XYZ-partner Kevin Smith, Scott Stewart (Legion) and Gary Shore (Dracula Untold). Smith revealed via Twitter on Feb. 2 that his section would be called "Hollow Ian".