Cannes: Parkland Pictures Boards Acclaimed Croatian Director's English-Language Debut

Arsen Ostojic
Director, Arsen A Ostojic

Arsen A. Ostojic's film "The Man in the Box" is a coming-of-age story set in wartime Austria where a family hides a Jewish doctor.

CANNES -- London-based sales company Parkland Pictures has boarded the first English-language feature by award-winning Croatian director Arsen A. Ostojic.

The Man in the Box, adapted by Dan and Nuria Wicksman from the international best-selling novel by Thomas Moran, is a coming-of-age story set in the Austrian Tirol at the end of World War II about a family that hides a Jewish doctor who saved their son's life before the war.

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Ostojic, whose previous three films were all official Croatian entries for best foreign-language category in the Oscars, is hoping to start shooting in September in Tirol and Cologne, Germany.

Producer Steve Walsh, executive producers Thierry Potok and Francois Lesterlin and Parkland Pictures' John Cairns have put the final pieces of the financing together in Cannes.  

Cairns told The Hollywood Reporter that the strength of the script had been key in Parklands' decision to join the project.

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"We like to come in early and work with directors and writers from the beginning," he said.

The confirmed cast includes Thomas Kretschmann, Martina Gedeck and Gotz Otto. Talks are underway for the lead role with an A-list British actor, Cairns said.

Ostojic, who had been searching for a strong project to debut his English-language feature, said: "I'm very happy to be attached to this wonderful project with such top actors on board. The story and the setting offer many possibilities not only to make a dramatic film, but also a visually attractive one."