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The Playmaker has signed with Neopol Film to handle international sales for their upcoming creature horror thriller, “Paws.” Featuring polar bear creature animatronics from the renowned studio behind “Star Wars” and “Jurassic World,” the film tells the story of a climate researcher stranded in the Arctic who must forge an unlikely alliance with a polar bear in order to survive. The project will feature a stellar international cast, yet to be announced.

“Paws” is the second feature film from writer-director Lukas Rinker, following his critically acclaimed debut “Holy Shit!,” which premiered at Frightfest London and has been distributed in 48 countries worldwide.

With a blend of horror and environmental themes, “Paws” is a chilling eco-thriller that pits humanity’s greed against the power of nature. The Playmaker team will present “Paws” at the upcoming Marché du Film in Cannes, offering international buyers an exclusive first look.

In the film, a ship crashes in the Arctic, leaving climate researcher Tessa and her team stranded. Searching for help inside an abandoned tanker-wreckage, they stumble upon a starved polar bear, looking to protect her cub and feed on the survivors. To make matters worse, Tessa’s team betrays her honorable cause and probes the deep sea for potential oil fields, perceiving her as an expendable threat to their greedy scheme. Now Tessa’s only chance of survival and to protect this eco-system is an uneasy alliance with the equally endangered Mama bear.

Tonio Kellner, producer for Neopol Film, said: “We at Neopol Film believe ‘Paws’ is the perfect narrative for the current horror movie zeitgeist – an icy creature-feature set at the melting North Pole, promising entertaining and suspenseful thrills and kills, intertwined with a crisp layer of relevance. With ‘Paws’ we’re super excited, and can’t wait to finally ‘unleash the Polar Bear,’ to continue our close collaboration with Lukas and The Playmaker after the success of our joint venture, ‘Holy Shit!,’ alongside these fantastic partners: Samsara Film, Grasp the Nettle Films, Lunar Lander Films, Rein Film, Biomimic Studio and our German distributor Weltkino.”

Loredana Rehkampff, producer and co-founder of Samsara Film, said: “Since entertaining genre films from Europe for an international audience is our passion, we as Samsara Film are very excited to embark on this journey with Neopol, Lukas Rinker, The Playmaker and all the other partners. ‘Paws’ will not only meet the expectations of the creature horror film audience, but will also entertain a worldwide audience on a surprising and sophisticated level. We are very much looking forward to the shooting early next year in Vienna!”

Moritz Hemminger, head of sales and acquisitions at The Playmaker, said: “Following the incredible success of our collaborations on ‘Holy Shit!’ and ‘Rubikon,’ we are thrilled to once again join forces with Lukas Rinker, Neopol and Samsara Film. ‘Paws’ boasts a highly compelling story, extreme production value and a phenomenal cast. We are confident that it will be a standout title at the Marché du Film and look forward to sharing more info about the project with international distributors.”

“Paws” is a German production by Neopol Film, a Frankfurt-based film production company founded by Kellner, Jakob Zapf and Andrea Simml. It is a co-production with Samsara Film (Austria), Rein Film (Norway), Lunar Lander Films and Grasp the Nettle Films (U.K.).

Local distributors attached to the project are Weltkino in Germany and Constantin Film in Austria.

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