Magnify Takes Rights to Supernatural Thriller ‘Place of Ghosts’

Magnify has acquired global and U.S. sales rights (excluding Canada and Benelux) to “Wildhood” director Bretten Hannam’s supernatural thriller “Place of Ghosts,” which is set to go into production Aug. 7, 2024.

Lorna Lee Torres, Magnify’s senior VP of sales, and Austin Kennedy, director of global sales, will be launching the project in Cannes.

“Place of Ghosts” follows siblings Mise’l and Antle, who were close as children, but trauma from their upbringing has caused them to drift apart as adults. When they are both haunted by a malevolent spirit of bones and rot, the siblings are forced to reunite.

They journey to Skite’kmujuekat’ik, the “Place of Ghosts,” a primeval forest of the Mi’kmaq people, where time bends and past mixes with future. Wounded and poisoned by the vengeful spirit, Mise’l and Antle move deeper into the dark woods to confront the half-buried corpse of their abusive father and to face their unthinkable past.

“Bretten Hannam has crafted an ambitious and thematically rich indigenous horror/fantasy that engages with political and social history and adds to the expanding world of original genre film,” Torres said. “We are honored to collaborate with such a talented creative team supporting Bretten’s unique and deeply personal vision, which promises an unforgettable and mind-bending journey into the wild.”

Hannam said: “This is a story about facing buried trauma and cleaning wounds in order to heal. This is echoed in the characters, and in the history of the forest itself unfolding along their journey. As the two siblings at the center of this film descend into the primeval forest known as the Place of Ghosts, they come face to face with ancestors, future descendants, and their younger selves.

“The forest gives them what they need, though they may fear it. They run from ice-age dire wolves, get caught up in a war from 300 years past—all the while being hunted by a dark spirit intent on poisoning them against each other before they can destroy it. More than just a lesson in history, the emotions and the core of the story cut a path through darker fears and things left unsaid, leading to a different way of understanding each other, the land around us, and the complex history that we all share.”

“Place of Ghosts” is funded by Telefilm Canada and Canadian SVOD service Crave. Canadian distribution is being handled by VVS.

The producing team includes Jason Levangie, Marc Tetreault, Martin Katz and Diana Elbaum. The executive producer is Cotty Chubb.

Magnify’s lineup also includes Cannes Directors’ Fortnight selection “Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point,” directed by Tyler Taormina, Taiwanese fencing thriller “Pierce,” Rafael Manuel’s “Filipiñana,” in partnership with Film4, currently in production, and Sundance jaw-dropper “Veni Vidi Vici.”

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