Netflix nabs the rights to Berlin Silver Bear winner Dovlatov
James R | On 25, Feb 2018
Netflix has nabbed the streaming rights to the winner of the Silver Bear at Berlinale this weekeend.
The movie, which is directed by Alexey German Jr., premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this week, before going on to win the Silver Bear prize for Outstanding Artistic Contribution on Saturday night – and at the same time, the streaming giant swooped to snap up the rights to stream the film.
The drama is co-written by Alexey German Jr. and Tupikina and follows six days in the life of the struggling Russian writer. Sergei Dovlatov was unable to publish his work under the Soviet regime, and so he moved to New York, ultimately going on to find fame posthumously, when he films became bestsellers in Russia.
Dovlatov follows Sergei in Leningrad, 1971, as he tries to live in the city and lead a normal life with his family – even as his friend, Joseph Brodsky, is forced into exile. It stars Milan Marić as the writer, alongside Danila Kozlovsky, Helena Sujecka and Artur Beschastny.
Netflix’s deal is the first streaming agreement to come out of this year’s festival, which has seen the debut of Amazon’s new film from Gus Van Sant, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. While MUBI is often a very active presence on the scene, there is no word yet on any deals done by the subscription service – last year, it acquired On Body and Soul for the UK, following its Golden Bear win in Berlinale, now placing it in the Oscar race, as the film has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Netflix’s deal for Dovlatov gives the streaming giant the English-speaking rights to the title, including North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand plus Scandinavia. Other companies have acquired the film in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Brazil.