A Greek–Swiss co-production, Novak follows an ageing Croatian neuroscientist who lives a reclusive life in Athens, having been branded paranoid for his radical research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on humans. Decades later, when he is rediscovered by a group of young dreamers who are trying to change the world through his ideas, he decides to join them in their scientific commune, risking his sanity in pursuit of a higher goal.
Burić won the best actor prize at the European Film Awards last year for his role in Triangle of Sadness, while Rumpf’s credits include horror film Raw. The cast also includes Yiannis Papadopoulos and Elena Topalidou.
Novak, which wrapped shooting in Greece on December 9, is produced by Giorgos Karnavas for Heretic. Producers are Michael Graf and Sara Bonakdar for Cloud Fog Haze Pictures and Kaathre Santhanam for Stone Bench Limited.
Backers include Creative Europe / MEDIA, The Greek Film Centre, ERT and the Greek National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication – EKOME.
The film was developed at script stage at the Torino ScriptLab and participated in Cinemart IFFR.
Director Harry Lagoussis previous writing credits include the Berlinale Competition title Stratos. He is also a comics artist and musician. He studied film at the LFS and his audiovisual works have been screened at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum, the 13th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Heretic’s production credits includes Triangle of Sadness, How to Have Sex, Inside and Magnetic Fields.
Karnavas said: “Novak is exactly the kind of film we are looking to be making; original, relevant, daring and with a great cast ensemble on the screen. We are looking forward to share Harry’s vision with the world”.
Lagoussis added: “I was extremely privileged to have worked on my first feature with such a wonderful and experienced cast and crew. Zlatko Burić trusted us all and dived deep into the part of Dr. Novak, a 21st century Don Quixote, making it impossible to think of this film without him. Plus he was a total delight to work with.”
Upcoming Heretic titles are Swimming Home by Justin Anderson, The Return by Uberto Pasolini, Maria by Pablo Larraín and Hot Milk by Rebecca Lenkiewicz.
This story originally appeared on our sister site Screen