SANTA MONICA, Calif. and MUNICH, June 3, 2015 /CNW/ -- Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the worldwide box office blockbuster The Sound of Music, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, has acquired all U.S., Canadian and UK distribution rights to Tele Munchen Group's The von Trapp Family -- A Life of Music, the two companies announced today.
Award-winning Dutch filmmaker Ben Verbong, who has earned acclaim with family films such as The Girl with the Red Hair, The Slurb and Mr. Bello, is directing, and Eliza Bennett (Broadchurch, Nanny McPhee), Matthew Macfadyen (Anna Karenina, Three Musketeers) and Academy Award® nominee Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man 1-3, Tom & Viv) are starring in the film currently being shot in Salzburg and surroundings as well as Bavaria.
The von Trapp Family has been cherished by generations of fans ever since The Sound of Music conquered global audiences and earned five Academy Awards in the 1960's. One of the most successful motion pictures of all time, the film will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with the release of The von Trapp Family – A Life of Music, based on Agathe von Trapp's autobiography "Memories Before and After the Sound of Music," which tells the story behind the legend. The screenplay was written by Christoph Silber (Good Bye Lenin) and Tim Sullivan (Letters to Juliet).
"As a native Austrian, I am especially proud to bring the real story played by such a great cast together with such a prestigious partner as Lionsgate, one of the leading and prestigious US media companies which I was significantly involved in," said Tele Munchen Group Chairman Dr. Herbert G. Kloiber.
"We're proud to distribute a property based on such a beloved and globally recognizable brand and pleased to extend our partnership with our friends at Tele Munchen," said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. "We believe that The von Trapp Family – A Life of Music will resonate with Sound of Music fans around the world this Christmas as well as audiences discovering this incredible story for the first time."
The film is produced by Clasart Film- und Fernsehproduktion, Munich in cooperation with ORF and Concorde Media, Vienna, with Executive Producer Herbert G. Kloiber and Producer Rikolt von Gagern. It is financially supported by the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, the Filmstandort Austria FISA and by the Filmforderung Salzburg / Standort Agentur Salzburg.
TM International is handling worldwide sales. Presales have also been made to Germany's ZDF, while TMG's theatrical distribution arm, Concorde Filmverleih and Constantin Film Vienna will release the picture in Germany and Austria in November 2015. Lionsgate is also planning a Christmas 2015 release.
The deal was completed during the Cannes Film Festival by Mr. Packer and Senior VP Acquisitions Marc Danon on behalf of Lionsgate and Thomas Augsberger on behalf of TMG.
THE VON TRAPP FAMILY – A LIFE OF MUSIC tells the fascinating and exciting story of Agathe von Trapp (Eliza Bennett), who has been searching for her path in life since her youth: She is the eldest daughter among many siblings, and her relationship with her father, the distinguished marine officer Georg von Trapp (Matthew Macfadyen) and his second wife Maria von Trapp (Yvonne Catterfeld), is often difficult. She develops her beautiful voice and stimulating musical talent together with her family and with the support of the famous singer Lotte Lehmann (opera singer Annette Dasch). She constantly struggles for the love of her childhood sweetheart Sigi (Johannes Nussbaum) and, not least, she must confront the menacing rise of fascism in Germany and Austria. Emigration to the U.S. finally brings a decisive step toward freedom and world success.
How Agathe von Trapp found and shaped her own life, with empathy and commitment, emotionally and courageously; how she took up every challenge and never let go of her dream; how she faced problems and ultimately went her own way – this is what Agathe (Rosemary Harris) reports many years later in the new American home of her young niece who, just like her, has reached a crossroads and must take important decisions.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Age of Adaline, John Wick, Now You See Me, CBS Films/Lionsgate's The DUFF, Roadside Attractions' A Most Wanted Man, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
About Tele Munchen Group
TMG is a fully integrated media company, which has been successfully operating in the market for more than 45 years. TMG is able to exploit all audio-visual rights through its own distribution channels. Its activities include the production and acquisition of feature films, TV productions and classical music programs, as well as their distribution in the theatrical, home entertainment, broadcasting and merchandising sectors. Besides, TMG is a shareholder in the nationwide free TV-stations Tele 5 and RTL II in Germany as well as ATV and ATV II in Austria and continues to strengthen its strategic market position through partnerships with other companies, such as the production company Odeon Film AG and the leading on demand specialist On Demand Deutschland.
For further information, please contact:
Tele Munchen Group
+49 89 29093-132
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