Super, the boutique distribution label from Neon, has acquired the U.S. rights to “Sanctuary,” a thriller about a dominatrix starring Margaret Qualley that made its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Zachary Wigon directs the film that also stars Christopher Abbott; it is Super’s second acquisition out of TIFF after it also picked up Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer,” which first premiered at Venice.
In “Sanctuary,” a dominatrix (Qualley) and her wealthy client (Abbott) engage in a battle of wills inside a luxury hotel suite after he tries to end their relationship. Over the course of one emotionally fraught night, the balance of power swings back and forth as each seeks to gain the upper hand. Is he hopelessly overmatched? Or is her wildly unpredictable behavior all part of an elaborate game? Micah Bloomberg wrote the script.
The feature comes from production company Rumble Films in association with Charades, Mosaic Films and Hype Studios. It is produced by David Lancaster and Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films with Ilya Stewart of Hype Studios and Pavel Burian of Mosaic Films.
Executive producers include Carole Baraton, Yohann Comte, Pierre Mazars of Charades, Elizaveta Chalenko, Maxim Dashkin, Nick Shumaker. Qualley and screenwriter Bloomberg are also executive producers.
“The reaction to ‘Sanctuary’ upon its world premiere, from both audiences and critics, has been exceptionally validating. Everyone who worked on this film gave so much to it – starting with Micah’s phenomenal script, then Margaret and Chris put forth a superhuman effort, as did our entire crew,” Wigon said in a statement. “Super has expressed the same degree of enthusiasm and commitment to the project, and I’m honored to have them coming on board.”
“Zachary Wigon has brilliantly crafted a subversive cinematic experience that comments on relationship dynamics in thrilling and surprising new ways,” Super principals Darcy Heusel and Dan O’Meara said jointly. “We can’t wait to bring this film to audiences, and for people to see the electric performances from Margaret and Chris – two of the most dynamic actors of their generation.”
Jason Wald negotiated the deal for Super with UTA Independent Film Group, which represented the filmmakers. Charades is handling international sales.
Variety first reported the news.