International sales rights for Czech filmmaker Tereza Nvotovà’s new film, “Nightsiren,” have been snapped up by Intramovies ahead of the picture’s world premiere at Locarno on August 12. Variety broke the news.
The film is in competition for the top prize in the festival sidebar Cineasti del Presente, which spotlights debut and second features by emerging international filmmakers. Nvotovà previously directed “Filthy,” which she co-wrote with Barbora Namerova, and which won a slew of festival awards.
According to the source, “Nightsiren” follows “a young woman (Natália Germán) who returns to her remote mountain home to seek answers about her traumatized childhood. The deeply superstitious villagers turn on her, accusing her of witchcraft and murder.”
Nvotovà said she sought to “dispel outdated myths surrounding womanhood, drawing a line between ancient misogynist superstitions and their resurgence in the modern world” with the film, which she also penned with Namerova. “Even though women are no longer being burned at the stake, they’re still targeted for their sexuality, emotionality, and reproductive choices,” she added. “Only the label has changed, from ‘witch’ to ‘slut.’ ‘Nightsiren’ talks about the value of freedom if we refuse to go down the conventional path.”
Intramovies’ head of acquisitions and production, Marco Valerio Fusco, said: “We were immediately attracted by Tereza’s talent and incredible ability to create an atmosphere where ancient beliefs overcome common sense, blending present and past in the life of a young modern woman trying to come to grips with a troubled childhood.”
In addition to her narrative work, Nvotovà has also directed a number of docs, including HBO Europe’s “The Lust for Power,” about the rise of Vladimir Meciar, Slovakia’s first prime minister following its return to democracy after 40 years of totalitarian communist rule. She also co-wrote comedy sci-fi “Trash on Mars.”
Locarno Film Festival runs August 3-13