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April 6, 2016

Thunderbird’s Soda Pictures Presents a Special Event Screening of HIGH-RISE and Masterclass with Director Ben Wheatley


April 6, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – Soda Pictures (A Thunderbird Company) is pleased to announce a Special Event Screening of the feature HIGH-RISE and Masterclass with the director Ben Wheatley. Taking place on Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16 at VIFF Vancity Theatre, this is a chance to preview the ground-breaking film based on the 1975 JG Ballard novel and discuss it with its visionary filmmaker in advance of its official release.

Set in the 1970s, HIGH-RISE is the story of Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), a young doctor who is seduced by a residential tower block in London. The building is divided so the super-rich reside on the upper floors, the rich – including Laing – live in the middle, and the well-off live on the lower floors. With residents seduced by the insularity and glamour of its co-habitants, chaos ensues as the high-rise, and its social strata, begin to crumble. Imagine an adult Lord of the Rings cross-wired with the faulty towers in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and an even more apocalyptic class polemic than Snowpiercer… Throw in a string quartet cover version of ABBA’s 1975 hit SOS, an orgy or two and spice with dog meat… it is a tour de force of astonishing geometrical precision and architectural ambition.

The stellar cast includes Tom Hiddleston (also starring in the highly-anticipated upcoming series The Night Manager), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Luke Evans (The Hobbit) and Jeremy Irons as the mastermind behind the utopian/dystopian skyscraper dwelling.

Closer to Ballard’s Crash than his Empire of the Sun, this story/film is a scorching satire concerning class, hedonism and depravity set within an imploding luxury apartment building. Wheatley’s filmography includes Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England.

Tom Charity, programmer at VIFF Vancity Theatre says “We are thrilled to welcome Ben Wheatley to Vancouver and copresent this advance screening of one of the most anticipated movies of the year. A hot-ticket at last year’s VIFF, HIGH-RISE is a controversial, provocative, political movie which has as much to say about the economically stratified neo-liberal bubble we find ourselves in today as about the mid-70s Britain JG Ballard was writing about. In the space of just six years Ben Wheatley has established himself as one of the most exciting, dynamic and fearless filmmakers on the planet (his films Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England have all shown in VIFF and/or Vancity Theatre), and with HIGH-RISE, his first bigger budget release, he and his collaborators have pulled off something truly special.”

Eve Gabereau, Managing Director of Soda Pictures adds that they are “thrilled to be bringing Ben Wheatley to Canada to show his work and hear him talk further about this film, beyond its world premiere launch at the Toronto and Vancouver Film Festivals last autumn. Since then, it has been released to incredible critical acclaim and popular demand in the UK – and keeps on playing well, challenging and entertaining its audiences wherever it goes.”

Special Preview Screening:
Friday April 15 @ 11:00PM
VIFF Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.

Ben Wheatley Masterclass:
Saturday April 16 @ 2:30PM
VIFF Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.

For tickets to the Masterclass and special preview screening, visit: VIFF Vancity Theatre

HIGH-RISE is out in theatres across Canada from May 20, 2016.


For press notes, media enquiries and/or interviews with Ben Wheatley and select talent, contact Nicola Pender.

Soda Pictures is a leading Anglo-Canadian film distributor based in London (UK) with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. Founded by Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher in 2002, they release 25+ films a year and have a library of over 300 features and documentaries. In 2014, Soda Pictures was acquired by Thunderbird Films in order to join a greater media group, build a theatrical film division in Canada and to expand their existing business in the UK and Ireland. The Thunderbird Group of companies include Atomic Cartoons (animation), Reunion Pictures (scripted production), Great Pacific Media (factual TV) and the overall parent company Thunderbird Films.

Thunderbird/Soda Pictures Media Contact:
Nicola Pender
Director of Media & Marketing