Black Bear Signs ‘Sebastian’ Writer and Director Mikko Mäkelä (EXCLUSIVE)

Black Bear’s management arm has signed Mikko Mäkelä, the Finnish-British writer and director of “Sebastian.” Mäkelä is a rising force in international queer cinema having made movies that explore sexuality and identity.

Mäkelä’s directorial debut “A Moment in the Reeds” premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and screened at nearly a hundred festivals worldwide, including Göteborg Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and Frameline in San Francisco. The film was nominated for the “Discovery Award” at the 2018 British Independent Film Awards.

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Mäkelä’s sophomore feature, “Sebastian,” premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2024 and was embraced by critics. The film will be distributed by Kino Lorber and will be released on Aug. 2, 2024.

Mäkelä was named by IndieWire as an “LGBTQ Filmmaker on the Rise.” In its review out of Sundance, the site went on to praise “Sebastian” as a “provocative, explicit, and ultimately tender drama.”

Prior to his feature debut, Mäkelä directed a number of music and fashion promos and worked as an editor on commercials. He is an alumnus of the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew, Berlinale Talents and BIFA Springboard, as well as a member of the European Film Academy.

Black Bear’s management arm is led by partners Keith Redmon and Joanne Roberts Wiles. Its list of clients includes Karyn Kusama (“Yellowjackets”), Johan Renck (“Chernobyl”), Cooper Raiff (“Cha Cha Real Smooth”), Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”), John Hillcoat (“The Road”), Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”), Olmo Schnabel (“Pet Shop Days”), Ilker Çatak (“The Teacher’s Lounge”) and Simona Tabasco (“The White Lotus”).

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