Munich, February 23, 2022. PANTALEON Films, a wholly owned film production subsidiary of PANTAFLIX AG (GSIN: A12UPJ, ISIN: DE000A12UPJ7), is in the midst of shooting the new Sky Original UNWANTED. PANTALEON Films is producing the eight-part thriller series together with Sky Studios and Indiana Production. It is directed by Oscar-nominated and multi-award-winning director Oliver Hirschbiegel (“Downfall”). The series will be airing soon in all the Sky territories and streaming on NOW.
UNWANTED is based on the book “Bilal” by the Italian journalist Fabrizio Gatti. His investigative research tells the story of 28 African migrants escaping to Europe. It also sheds light on the brutal actions of smuggling gangs and modern human trafficking.
The cast consists of numerous international actors such as: Marco Bocci, Jessica Schwarz, Dada Fungula Bozela, Hassan Najib, Jonathan Berlin, Jason Derek Prempeh, Cecilia Dazzi, Francesco Acquaroli, Barbara Auer, Sylvester Groth, Marco Palvetti, Denise Capezza, Nuala Peberdy, Samuel Kalambay, Amadou Mbow, Edward Apeagyei, Reshny N'Kouka, Onyinye Odokoro, Massimo De Lorenzo, and Scot Williams.
The cruise ship Orizzonte offers its 5,000 passengers fifteen restaurants, a theater, nightclubs, stores, swimming pools, and a lavish wellness area. On the very first night at sea, reality catches up with the vacationers on their supposedly carefree vacation when the ship rescues 28 African migrants from the Mediterranean Sea. They are the survivors of a shipwreck in which more than 100 people died. On their way to Italy fleeing hunger, war, slavery and persecution, the Orizzonte is both a rescue and the first step into a world the migrants had dreamed of. When the 28 survivors learn that the Orizzonte is heading back to Libya, from where they fled, the cruise ship becomes ground zero for the global refugee crisis, human trafficking, and the Western world‘s attempts to keep out “illegal” immigrants. Prejudices and clichés persist in the minds of passengers, migrants and crew. On board the Orizzonte, humanity and cruelty, tolerance and racism, hope and sorrow, life and ultimately death inevitably collide.
“Our heart beats for entertainment. But that doesn‘t mean we can‘t confront our viewers with unpleasant realities and issues that concern us all. With UNWANTED, we are realizing an important book and a moving story with our partners Sky Studios and Indiana Production as well as Oliver Hirschbiegel. Together, we want to add perspective to an overall social issue – using the craft we know best: filmmaking,” says Patrick Zorer, Managing Director of PANTALEON Films.
“With UNWANTED, Sky once again shows that its DNA is grounded in modern topics, talent, and quality, taking on hot-button issues that are relevant to our society and more urgent than ever, telling a fictional story that doesn‘t shy away from even the most controversial aspects of migration. This new series – inspired by the bold work of Fabrizio Gatti – is produced by Sky Studios along with PANTALEON Films and Indiana Production and boasts the solid guiding hand of Stefano Bises as well as a rich, multicultural cast. Once again, we are offering an exciting, must-see series where each of us will find something to relate to, with a tale that literally puts westerners and migrants ‘in the same boat’, tourists and so-called ‘illegal’ immigrants trapped in the Mediterranean unable to dock in any port,” comments Antonella d’Errico, Executive Vice President for Programming at Sky Italia.
The series is produced on the side of PANTALEON Films by Dan Maag, Marco Beckmann, Patrick Zorer, Stephanie Schettler-Köhler and producer Sascha Rosemann, who adapted the book by Fabrizio Gatti. For Indiana, Fabrizio Donvito, Benedetto Habib, Daniel Campos Pavoncelli and Marco Cohen are responsible. Executive producers for Sky Studios are Nils Hartmann and Sonia Rovai.
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Photo credit: Unwanted / Sky Studios 2022 / Francesca Cassaro