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Title: Olivier Abbou's TERRITORIES

Sheldon Warnock - November 4, 2010 12:39 PM (GMT)
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Distribution rights for Olivier Abbou's Canadian-French horror film Territories - a.k.a. "Territoires" (French-language version) - are being offered for sale by SND Groupe M6 at this year's American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California; the movie is scheduled to be screened at the Laemmle Monica 2 on Friday November 5th at 3:00 p.m., and at the Laemmle Monica 3 on Sunday November 7th at 11:00 a.m..

The screenplay for Territories was written by Thibault Lang-Willar and Abbou. The movie stars Roc LaFortune, Sean Devine, Nicole Leroux, Michael Mando, Cristina Rosato, Alex Weiner, Stephen Shellen, and Tim Rozon.

Here's a synopsis for Territories from Telefilm Canada: "Five friends returning from a marriage in Canada return home to the United States. Not far from the border, two customs officers stop them to check their identity. Suspicious, they take their time especially with Jalil, a man of Arab origin. The situation worsens when a customs officer finds a small bag of marijuana in the luggage. Then things degenerate rapidly: a customs officer grabs the little dog that's part of the group and slits open its belly to be sure it's not a mule. When Gab makes a move, he's shot. The customs officer orders the surviving friends to undress and put on orange coveralls. Gradually, it dawns on the four tourists that they are in the hands of former torturers from Guantanamo."

Telefilm Canada: Territories

Noodles Production: Territories (in French)

News source: Trailer Park subsite

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Sheldon Warnock - November 5, 2010 09:46 AM (GMT)
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Here's a description of Territories from the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC) in Montréal, where the movie had its world première on October 20th: "It's nighttime, and Jalil, Leslie, Gab, Tom and Michelle are heading home. On an isolated stretch of highway they are stopped by two U.S. border cops, who check everyone's ID. Everything seems fine, but the cops eye Jalil suspiciously. Subtle racist digs lead to an altercation and the situation quickly goes sideways. The friends get locked up and then taken to the home of the two sickos, whose favourite pastime is re-enacting Guantánamo in the woods. You can guess what happens next... ¶ In the tradition of Martyrs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Territoires is raw, visceral and sadistic, yet also gets you thinking. An incredibly disturbing journey into hell, it is rooted in events that have become all too familiar today. This horror film about the ghoulish extremes of American patriotism is based on actual interrogation sessions at Guantánamo, particularly of Omar Khadr. Also noteworthy, the French production was shot entirely in Quebec, outside Montreal. Karim Hussain (La belle bête [The Beautiful Beast], Subconscious Cruelty) is the director of photography and Douglas Buck (Sisters, Family Portrait) the editor. Be forewarned - the film contains some gruesome scenes that will creep out even the most hardcore among you."

Sheldon Warnock - February 11, 2011 01:16 PM (GMT)
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Territories is scheduled to have its international (i.e., outside-of-Canada) première on February 26th, at the FrightFest Glasgow sub-festival of the Glasgow Film Festival (GFF).

Here's a description of Territories from the FrightFest website: "From Raphael Rocher, producer of THE HORDE, come the new FRONTIERS in terror. Five friends driving home from a wedding are stopped by the Border Police. The suspicious officers check their IDs and their questioning slowly intensifies. But they've done nothing wrong... except for that broken headlight... and that pot found in the car. As the situation turns crudely intrusive, viciously nasty and then spirals completely out of control, the group is formally arrested and sent to a 'special' prison camp in the heart of the forest. It's then the kidnap victims realize the gravity of their situation. For the two policemen are just concerned patriots doing their part to keep the country safe. Even if they have to cage those they consider undesirable suspects and torture them to achieve that homeland security aim. A controversial backwoods survival horror in which director Olivier Abbou pulls no political punches or contemporary detainment allegories."

GFF: Territories

FrightFest: Territories

Alan Maxwell - February 27, 2011 11:17 PM (GMT)
I went to the Glasgow screening of this one. It's enjoyable enough to begin with, featuring a pretty scary idea well executed and showing all the promise of a notable new horror film. Unfortunately, to coin the old cliche, it's a film in search of an ending. Abbou clearly has questions to ask, and the audience will too - but while it's nice to leave some ambiguity, this film just feels like it never really knows where it's going after the late introduction of a totally new character completely derails it and kills the momentum that had been gathering so effectively in the first hour or so.

I'd say it's worth a look if it's playing near you any time soon but it feels like a missed opportunity to me.

Sheldon Warnock - March 20, 2011 08:23 PM (GMT)
Linked to below are three more stills from Territories.

Territories still #01 (JPEG)

Territories still #02 (JPEG)

Territories still #03 (JPEG)

Sheldon Warnock - May 24, 2011 06:59 PM (GMT)
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A trailer for Territories has been added to YouTube.

YouTube: Territories trailer

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