Black Water chalks up HBO sale

By Simon de Bruyn

After chalking up sales to 34 countries at the Berlin and Cannes film festivals earlier this year, Australian low budget indie Black Water stitched up a further four territories and a TV deal with HBO Europe at the recent American Film Market.

At the AFM, which ran through the first week of November, the $1.2 crocodile thriller was sold to China, Hong Kong, Italy and the Czech Republic. Black Water was also sold to HBO’s Europe division to for future TV screenings in central and eastern European countries.

The film’s producer Michael Robertson told Inside Film that most territories are waiting to see how the film performs at its cinema debut in the United Kingdom in January, before they decide how they will release the film.

‘In every case the distributor bought all rights. Some may go straight to DVD but a lot depends on the UK. The territories we’ve sold to, as well as 10 to 12 others that have shown interest – like South Korea, Israel and Romania – are waiting to see how it performs in cinemas there,’ he said.

Robertson confirmed he would produce a further two similar-budgeted genre films, Thanksgiving and Road Train, after the Black Water sales proved such films could find an audience. He started shopping Thanksgiving at SPAAmart on the Gold Coast last week.

‘There are no end of low budgeted genre pics that can be made in Australia if you hit the right buttons with story and script. And they will sell to an international audience, unlike many Australian films that tend to be personal films, which don’t,’ he said.

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