- an international independent -
H2O Motion Pictures is a unique and innovative foreign sales, finance and production company.
H2O is unique for its principals’ proximity to almost every European and North American “soft finance” entity, which more and more is proving to be the key to successfully financing independent films. H2O is innovative because it fully integrates its acumen in utilizing these finance opportunities and creative co-production structures with the company’s main focus: sales and marketing of quality international independent motion pictures.
Managed by Andras Hamori and Mark Horowitz, H2O is poised to take successful advantage of the ever-changing fluidity of market conditions. With offices in Los Angeles and London the company is strategically placed in the American and European capitals of the film industry and also maintains strong ties to the New York and Toronto film communities.
The H2O partners’ first venture was with Alliance Entertainment Corporation where Mr. Hamori, a founding partner of the corporation, was president of Alliance Pictures and Mr. Horowitz created and was president of Alliance Pictures International, the feature film sales and marketing division. H2O Motion Pictures is the natural continuation of the working relationship that established the international feature film profile of the Canadian media giant Alliance Atlantis Entertainment.
The success of Alliance Atlantis Pictures International was based in part on the strength of Mr. Horowitz’s relationships in the international distribution community. His more than two decades’ experience in international distribution has enabled him to successfully match films with the proper distributor in each territory. Films distributed by Mr. Horowitz have consistently been placed with top international distributors, ensuring the widest audience possible and optimizing the chances for significant financial recoupment.
From its inception the company carved a unique niche in the world of international film production and distribution. It was also known throughout the world not only as producer and distributor of commercial films such as the 51st State, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle or Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief starring Nick Nolte, but also for its acumen in developing and representing edgier films such as David Cronenberg's Crash and eXistenZ, and Neil Labute's In the Company of Men. Hamori and Horowitz are also known for working with some of the world’s best directorial talents, such as Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things, Dangerous Liaisons), Istvan Szabo (Sunshine, Being Julia) and Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica), while fostering the careers of some of the brightest lights of the next generation of directors including Lynn Ramsey (Morvern Callar), Bart Freundlich (Trust the Man), Stacy Peralta (Dogtown & Z-Boys) and Claire McCarthy (The Waiting City).
Films that Mr. Hamori and Mr. Horowitz have been involved with have been distributed by almost every leading independent distributor around the world, including Pathe in France and the UK; Kinowelt, Telepool and Neue Constantine in Germany; Gaga, Nippon Herald and Shochiku in Japan; Icon in Australia; BAC films, UGC, Diaphana and Metropolitan in France; Cecchi-Gori, Filmauro and Medusa in Italy; Momentum Pictures and Entertainment Film Distributors in the UK; and Sony, MGM, Paramount Classics, Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax, Dimension Films, Fine Line Features, Lionsgate, Columbia Tri-Star and Sony Classics in the United States.
Their films have collected one Academy Award and were nominated for six Academy Awards and several Golden Globe awards, and have won major awards at film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto, as well as numerous European film awards and Canadian Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
- current sales slate -
The Samaritan – directed and co-written by David Weaver, one of Canada’s most exciting emerging young writer/directors.
After twenty long years in prison, Foley is finally ready to put the grifter’s life behind him. When he falls for an elusive and troubled young woman named Iris, a new beginning seems within his reach. But his past is not ready to let him go. Ethan, the son of his former partner, has the perfect plan and he wants Foley in on it. The con used to be a gentleman’s game — but the rules have changed. Trying to start over, Foley lets his guard down, a luxury it turns out he cannot afford. The harder he tries to escape his past, the deeper he is ensnared in Ethan’s web of secrets and lies, until it is all too clear there can be no turning back.
The Samaritan is a neo-noir thriller about how some wrongs can never be made right.
CHARLIE AND BOOTS - written and directed by Dean Murphy (Strange Bedfellows), starring Paul (CROCODILE DUNDEE) Hogan and Shane (KENNY) Jacobson.
When his wife Grace collapses from a fatal stroke while celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary, Charlie withdraws into depression. His youngest son Boots, decides to take him on a 3000 mile road trip adventure. It’s a breathtaking journey through some of the most beautiful locations in Australia, and for that matter the world; places never before seen on film. But all that beauty is lost on Charlie, and Boots has his work cut out for him if he is ever going to get his father out of his funk and bridge the gap that has grown between them.
In the first three weeks of its Australian opening CHARLIE AND BOOTS grossed over $2.5 million.
THE WAITING CITY - written and directed by Claire McCarthy starring Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton.
An Australian couple journey to India to collect their adopted baby and lose all that they thought they wanted, only to rediscover the love they once had.
THE WAITING CITY is the story of a childless couple finding each other on their journey to parenthood. Fiona (Mitchell) can't remember the last time she lost a case at her law firm. Her husband Ben (Edgerton) can't remember the last time he heard his one hit song on the radio. The intoxicating backdrop of Calcutta, India sets the scene for a mesmerizing story of joy, challenge and sorrow. Within the tumult, Ben and Fiona rediscover a belief in the possibilities of life and of their marriage.
THE WAITING CITY premiered in competition at the Toronto International Film Festival 2009.
BIBLIOTHÈQUE PASCAL - written and directed by Szabolcs Hajdu.
From the director and the producers of the internationally acclaimed WHITE PALMS (selected for the Cannes’ Quinzaine des Realisateurs and the Los Angeles AFI Film Festival, winner of the the Grand Prize at the Hungarian Film Festival and subsequently invited to the Munich, Pusan, Thessaloniki, Toronto and Warsaw International Film Festivals), BIBLIOTHÈQUE PASCAL is a journey of both the mind and the body.
Young and beautiful Mona, scraping a scant living for herself and her little daughter, is duped into accompanying her father as he travels from Transylvania to Germany for life-saving surgery. Leaving her daughter with a reluctant aunt, Mona sets off on a journey that will take her to the shadowy world of sexual slavery, to Bibliothèque Pascal - a debauched brothel where prostitutes are forced to act the parts of literary characters – characters who don’t always survive past the end of their dialogue - a world where anyone from the most respectable to the most depraved can fulfill their fantasy, and where fairytales can come true if you can afford the price.
THAT’S FOR ME! - written by Claudia Solti and Debra Tammer and directed by Claudia Solti.
Everyone is supposed to be famous for 15 minutes, but Zara can't even get that. She is convinced that fame is her destiny, but if her dubious talents alone can't focus the spotlight on her, there is always daddy's money. With the aid of her father, the funniest dry cleaner in North London, and an entourage of life coaches, personal gurus, sycophantic friends, a doormat of a boyfriend, assorted dysfunctional relatives and a film crew to capture every triumph and disaster along the way, Zara sets out to be discovered - and if that quest wrecks a few lives along the way, well ... “that's show biz.”
In the tradition of THIS IS SPINAL TAP, THAT'S FOR ME! is an insightful biting satire on the quest for fame and talent and the depths one young woman will sink to in order to make it on the "A" list. If it weren’t so funny, it might be true!
THAT’S FOR ME! premiered in competition at Just For Laughs Film Festival, Montreal 2009. It will shortly be screening at the UK Jewish Film Festival in London.
RUNNING WILD starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kristin Scott Thomas is based on the novel by JG Ballard (Empire of the Sun, Crash) and is written by David Leland (Mona Lisa, Wish You were Here).
Homeland was a model community. Cut off from the outside world in a protected, luxurious compound, ten families and their domestic staff were—for a while at least— living out an idyllic fantasy. The brutal mass-murder of the entire adult population—thirty-two people stabbed, shot, and bludgeoned to death—and the kidnapping of all of the children, has put an abrupt and violent end to the dream of Homeland. There are no suspects and no real clues. So the F.B.I. turns to retired agent Remmington (Samuel L. Jackson) whose expertise in forensic psychology may be the only hope of solving this horrific case.
In pre production for Winter 2009 shoot in Germany and South Africa.
THE GATE - a remake of the 1985 SFX/horror, updates the story of two kids who inadvertently open the Gate to Hell.
The children’s fantasy - the highest grossing Canadian film of 1987 - is directed by Alex Winter (Ben 10, Freaked) and written by Kerric Macdonald. The creatures are based on designs by three-time Academy Award winning SFX guru Randall William Cook who has been recognized for his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, and new creature work will be done by HR Giger (Alien, Species).
THE GATE is a children’s fantasy with soul, humor, excitement, and the underlying tension of great danger (like THE GOONIES and GREMLINS) where the kids almost get bitten, almost get swallowed by The Gate, and almost get killed by the Demon Lord, but ultimately escape with the help of ingenuity, imagination, innocence, and teamwork.
In pre production, for Winter 2009 shoot in Germany and the United States.
- the library -
FATELESS is based on the Nobel Prize winning work of Imre Kertesz and is the semi-autobiographical tale of a 14 year old Jewish boy from Budapest, who finds himself swept up by cataclysmic events beyond his comprehension. A perfectly normal metropolitan teen who has never felt particularly connected to his religion, he is suddenly separated from his family as part of the rushed and random deportation of Budapest’s large Jewish population. Brought to Auschwitz concentration camp, his existence becomes a surreal adventure in adversity and adaptation, and he is never quite sure if he is the victim of his captors, or an absurd destiny that metes out salvation and suffering arbitrarily.
FATELESS, the directorial debut of Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Lajos Koltai was an official selection at the Berlin Film Festival in 2005 and has won numerous awards as well as critical and public acclaim throughout the world.
FEEL is an ensemble drama starring William Baldwin (The Squid And The Whale) that follows four individual stories centered around a New York massage parlor. Feel was directed by award- winning director/photographer Matt Mahurin, who directed legendary music videos for Sting, U2, Peter Gabriel, REM, Tracy Chapman, Metallica and Joni Mitchell. Matt’s previous feature film Mugshot won Best Film at the 1996 Hampton Film Festival.
LET HIM BE, directed by Peter McNamee, takes a funny and poignant look at the nature of celebrity and its effects on all of us. When a young filmmaker happens upon a fleeting image in a home movie, he believes he has discovered evidence that John Lennon is still alive and living a quiet life in Northern Ontario. With his reluctant girl friend in tow, he sets out to document what could be one of the biggest news stories in the past 30 years, but what he discovers changes his life in ways he never dreamed of.
NITRO, in the vein of The Fast and the Furious, is a fast paced French language action drama directed by Alain Desrochers. While trying desperately to find a new heart for his dying wife Alice (Myriam Tallard), Max (Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge) reconnects with his old life, old friends, old habits and most notably his ex-girlfriend Mogane (Lucy Laurier). Stumbling instantly in a sea of trouble, he rapidly finds himself stuck between the police and the mob.
OPIUM: DIARY OF A MADWOMAN is directed by Janos Szasz, (winner of 1994 European Film Award for Woyzeck) and stars Ulrich Thomsen, the lead of Thomas Vinterberg’s Dogma success Celebration/Festen, and Kirsti Stubo. In its premier showing Opium walked away with four of the top awards of the Budapest Film Festival including the International Critic’s Award for Best Film and the prize for Best Director. In addition to unanimous strong reviews from all international film trades, Kirsti Stubo won Best Actress at the Moscow International Film Festival. OPIUM had its North American premiere at the Montreal Film Festival and was part of the selection of numerous festivals both in Europe and overseas, including the London and the Chicago Film Festivals.
DEADGIRL – written and directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel, and starring Shiloh Fernandez (Red), Noah Segan (Brick), Michael Bowen (Kill Bill, Jackie Brown), and Candice Accola (Juno).
Daringly original and genre-busting, DEADGIRL is an odyssey into the soul of our alienated youth. But by injecting universal teen moral moorings into something fantastical and terrifying, the film takes the conventions of the horror and coming-of-age movies and turns them on their heads.
When high school misfits Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) decide to cut school and find themselves lost in the crumbling facility of a nearby abandoned hospital, they come face-to-face with a gruesome discovery: a woman whose body has been stripped naked, chained to a table and covered in plastic. When both react to the situation in extremely different ways, the boys soon find themselves embarking on a twisted yet poignant journey that forces them to decide just how far they’re willing to stretch their understanding of right and wrong.
- awards and nominations (partial list)* -
The Waiting City
Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection – Pusan Film Festival
That’s for Me!
Official Selection – Just For Laughs Film Festival, Montreal
Official Selection – UK Jewish Film Festival
Official Selection – Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection - Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection - AFI Fest
Official Selection - Sitges Film Festival
Opening Night – Toronto International Film Festival
Opium: Diary Of A Madwoman
Winner – International Critics’ Prize for Best Picture – Budapest Film Festival
Winner – Best Director - Budapest Film Festival
Winner – Best Cinematographer –Budapest Film Festival
Winner – Best Sound –Budapest Film Festival
Winner – Best Actress – Kirsti Stubo – Moscow International Film Festival
Half Nelson Nomination - Best Actor – Academy Awards
Winner - Best First Film - New York Film Critics’ Circle
Winner - Best Breakthrough Male Performance Ryan Gosling - National Board Of Review
Winner - Special Jury Prize - Locarno International Film Festival
Winner - Best Film - Gotham Awards
Winner - Special Jury Prize - Deauville Film Festival
Nomination - Best Feature Documentary – Academy Awards
Official selection - Berlin Film Festival
Official selection - Karlovy Vary Film Festival
Official selection - Edinburgh Film Festival
Official selection - Copenhagen Film Festival
Official selection - Telluride Film Festival
Official selection - Special Presentation –Toronto International Film Festival
Official selection - Special Presentation -Toronto International Film Festival
Official selection - LA Film Festival
Official Selection - “Directors Fortnight” - Cannes Film Festival
Winner, Best Actress - British Independent Film Awards
Winner, Fipresci Prize - San Sebastian Film Festival
Winner, Director Of The Year - San Sebastian Film Festival
Dogtown and Z-Boys:
Winner -Audience Award (documentary) - Sundance Film Festival
Winner - Director’s Award (documentary) – Sundance Film Festival
Nomination - Grand Jury Prize (documentary) - Sundance Film Festival
Nomination - Best Director - Independent Spirit Awards
Winner - Best Supporting Actress - Academy Awards
Nomination - Best Actor - Academy Awards
Official Selection - Closing Night Film - Cannes Film Festival
5 nominations - including Best Picture & Best Screenplay - Canadian
Winner - Golden Lion for Best Picture - Venice Film Festival
Winner - Ocic award - Venice Film Festival
Nomination - Best Foreign Film - British Independent Film Awards
Winner - Best Actor - Paris Film Festival
Nomination - Best Actor – Independent Spirit Award
Winner - Best Actor - European Film Awards
Winner - Best Screenplay European Film Awards
Winner - Best Cinematographer European Film Awards
Nomination - Best Film - European Film Awards
Winner - Best Picture - Canadian Academy Awards
Nominations - Canadian Academy Awards
Nomination - Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score –
Golden Globe Awards
Winner - Silver Bear - Outstanding Artistic Achievement - Berlin Film Festival
Winner - Best Achievement in Editing – Canadian Academy Award
The Sweet Hereafter
Nomination - Best Director – Academy Awards
Nomination - Best Screenplay From Another Medium – Academy Awards
Winner - Grand Prize of the Jury - Cannes Film Festival
Winner - Grand Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Cannes film festival
Winner - Fipresci Award - Cannes Film Festival
Winner - 7 awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor –
Canadian Academy Awards
Winner - Special Jury Prize – Cannes Film Festival
Winner - 5 Awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay –
Canadian Academy Awards
* films produced, executive produced or sold by the H2O Principals