By Ray Pride




Films Follow Jonas Carpignano’s “A Ciambra” which was the First Film out of the Joint Venture


CANNES (May 9, 2018) – RT Features and Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions announced today that they have signed on to produce and finance Danielle Lessovitz’s Port Authority and Croatian writer-director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic’s Murina, a tense coming-of-age drama.  Both films come out of RT Features joint venture with Sikelia Productions, which they formed in 2014 in an effort to discover the works of emerging filmmakers from around the world.  The first film out of the venture was Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra, which premiered in Cannes last year and went on to be a foreign language contender at the Academy Awards.


Port Authority is a love story set in New York’s kiki ballroom scene. Paul, a midwestern teenager, arrives at the

central bus station and quickly catches eyes with Wye, a 22-year- old girl voguing on the sidewalk. After Paul seeks

her out in secret, an intense love between them blossoms. But when Paul discovers Wye is trans, he is forced to

confront his own identity and what it means to belong. Port Authority was developed with creative and financial support from the Torino Film Lab, New York State Council of the Arts and France’s CNC cinémas du monde fund.  Production will commence in New York City this August.  Rodrigo Teixeira of RT Features, Madeleine Films’ Virginie Lacombe and Zachary Luke Kislevitz will produce, with Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions. Lourenço Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas of RT Features and Frederic de Goldschmidt will executive produce. Endeavor Content is representing the domestic rights and mk2 films is handling international sales which will continue in Cannes.

Murina follows Alamat Kusijanovic’s award-winning short Into the Blue. Set on the rocky cliffs over the Adriatic, Murina tells the story of Julija, a teenage girl who decides to replace her controlling father with his wealthy foreign friend during a weekend of sailing, sensuality and violence.  Alamat Kusijanovic developed the film with support from the Résidence du Festival Cannes, Cinéfondation, the Jerusalem Film Lab, and First Films First, with financial support from the Croatian Audiovisual Center and the City of Dubrovnik. Rodrigo Teixeira of RT Features, with Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions and Zdenka Gold from Spiritus Movens Productions will produce. Lourenço Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas of RT Features will executive produce.  It will be co-produced by Danijel Pek from Antitalent and written by Christina Lazaridi and Alamat Kusijanovic.  Production will commence in May 2019 on the Croatian Coast. Endeavor Content is representing the worldwide rights.

Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions said: “We created this venture with RT Features to amplify authentic and exciting new voices in cinema.  Danielle and Antoneta fiercely embody that spirit through their singular visions.  We are thrilled to bring their impassioned stories to cinema lovers around the world.”

“We are always looking to work with first-time filmmakers – which we have done with now lauded directors such as Robert Eggers on The Witch and Geremy Jasper on Patti Cake$. This continues to be a priority,” said RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira.  “Danielle and Antoneta are two of the most exciting emerging creatives we have come across and we look forward to the world discovering them as well.”

Scorsese is currently in Cannes to receive the honorary Carrosse d’Or (Golden Coach) award which celebrates its 50th anniversary at the opening night of Directors’ Fortnight. As part of the tribute, Mean Street, which Scorsese presented at Directors’ Fortnight in 1974, will be screened, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker.

RT Features produced Luca Guadagnino’s Academy Award® Nominated Call Me By Your Name. They are in production on Robert Eggers on The Lighthouse, the renowned filmmaker’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to The Witch, starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe with A24 and New Regency, in post-production on James Gray’s Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt for Fox and pre-production on Olivier Assayas’ next film, Wasp Network.

Lessovitz is a New York City based writer and director. Her short form directorial work has screened at over forty international film festivals. Most recently, she co-wrote Mobile Homes with Vladimir de Fontenay, which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes in 2017. Trained in documentary film at Northwestern’s Annenberg School of Communications, Lessovitz discovered a passion for screenwriting and directing through her documentary work. She completed her M.F.A in directing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is represented by André Des Rochers, Esq. of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers LLP.

Alamat Kusijanovic is a Dubrovnik-born, New York-based writer director. Her short Into the Blue was awarded at Berlin film festival, Le Festival des Premier Plans, Sarajevo Film Festival and nominated for a student Academy Award. She holds an MFA in Writing/Directing from Columbia University.  Kusijanovic is repped by Hayden Goldblatt of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz




Founded by Rodrigo Teixeira in 2005, RT Features is an innovative production company based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that focuses on developing, producing and financing high quality content ranging from original projects to acquisitions, for both film and television.

The company has had a banner year with 10 films on its slate, including lauded films such as: Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name starring Armie Hammer with Sony Pictures Classics; Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$ with Fox Searchlight; and Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra.  RT is currently in production on Robert Eggers The Lighthouse starring Robert Pattinson with A24 and New Regency and are in post on the sci-fi film Ad Astra, which they developed with director James Gray, starring Brad Pitt.  In 2017, the company won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for Robert Egger’s The Witch.

Since its launch, RT Features has produced, co-produced or financed a remarkable slate of feature films including: Ira Sachs’ critically acclaimed Love is Strange for Sony Pictures Classics and Little Men; James Schamus’ Indignation; Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and Mistress America for Fox Searchlight; Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves; and Gaspar Noé’s Love.


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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch