With many film festival heading online for their 2021 programmes, our masterplan is to cover most of the big players. The next festival we’ll give you a slice off is Berlin Film Festival and today we get a first look at Sharlto Copley in Ted K.
Hanway Films (Cinetic Media in North America) will be hoping to sell the international rights of the film.
Writer/director Tony Stone’s true crime drama TED K has been selected as part of the Panorama section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. The film tracks a period in the life of Ted Kaczynski, more widely known as the Unabomber, and draws from Kaczynski’s personal diaries and accounts from those who knew him during his life in hiding. Sharlto Copley (District 9, Hardcore Henry) stars in the title role.
Based on Ted Kaczynski’s diaries and writings, Tony Stone’s film is a kaleidoscopic true crime journey into the life of one of America’s most complex and eccentric killers. It features a tour-de-force performance from Sharlto Copley who portrays the complexity of this unique outsider, raging at the forces of both the inescapable technological society that plagues him and his own inner demons.
Check out the first look image…
Ted K lives a life of almost complete seclusion in a simple wooden cabin in the mountains of Montana. But then this former university professor, who despises modern society and its faith in technology, becomes radicalised. What begins with local acts of sabotage, ends with deadly bomb attacks. To the outside world, Ted K becomes known as the Unabomber.
The film tells Kaczynski’s story not as a biopic, but as an investigation and immersion in the realities of his life, from the mundane to the shocking and violent. The script was based on Kaczynski’s own diaries and accounts from neighbours, and Stone used FBI photographs to forensically recreate his world in every detail. Many of the supporting cast are non-professional locals, some of whom actually knew Kaczynski, and the production worked closely with his former neighbours and employers to corroborate research and paint an authentic picture of the man, right down to the clothes he wore.
The authenticity extended to the shooting locations, as Stone built a recreation of Kaczynski’s cabin on its original site, and production made use of every structure and object that Kaczynski left behind as part of the 60 day shoot over four seasons in Montana.
“TED K. dives into the disturbed and tormented life of Theodore J Kaczynski, a character that is routinely displayed in popular culture. As filmmakers we wanted to revisit and abolish the usual tropes of the biopic to create an experiential cinematic journey, depicting what Ted’s day to day life was like through extreme subjectivity. Since 1996 when a man covered in filth was dragged out of his cabin, the public has been fascinated with how someone with no running water or electricity could paralyze and terrorize American society for nearly two decades and strong arm the publication of a 35,000-word manifesto. As modern society confronts massive problems of technological reliance and climate catastrophe, Kaczynski’s writings, from revengeful rants to constructive arguments, and his simple existence in the natural world continue to take on more and more intrigue and relevance.
Working with Sharlto Copley was profound and cathartic. We watched him become indiscernible from Kaczynski, as he delivered a raw and emotionally charged performance. As this film starts its journey to find its audience, our team is grateful for the opportunity to be selected to show in Berlin’s Panorama program and to be working with HanWay and Cinetic.”
The film will be Stone’s third feature after his 2009 backyard epic Severed Ways and the critically acclaimed 2016 documentary Peter and The Farm.