Irish actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes has been cast as the lead in a gripping real-life hostage story about Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch. The Derry-born actress, who recently starred in Rebecca Daly’s ‘The Other Side of Sleep‘
, will portray Kampusch in a biopic about her life, called ‘3096’.
Austrian Kampusch was held captive by Wolfgang Priklopil for eight years after he kidnapped her on her way to school in 1998. Kampusch escaped in 2006, leading Priklopil to take his own life. The film’s title, ‘3096’, refers to the number of days Kampusch was held in captivity.
The film is due to begin principal photography in Munich in May, with Sherry Hormann (Desert Flower) directing. Danish actor Thure Lindhardt (Angels & Demons) will play Priklopil, while Amelia Pidgeon will play the young Kampusch.
Hormann explained her choice in casting international actors: “We wanted to take an outside-the-box approach. Bringing an outsider’s point of view, Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Thure Lindhardt are perfectly suited to capture the overwhelming essence of the story: It's a universal story - the insanity of the act lies within the act itself, no matter where it takes place.”
Bernd Eichinger (Fantastic Four) originally began writing the script, however Ruth Thomas (Gloomy Sunday) and head of film and TV at Constantin Films, Martin Moskowicz, have taken over production duties following Eichinger’s sudden death in January 2011.
Bernd Lepel (Downfall) will oversee the production design, while Oscar-nominated Michael Ballhaus (The Departed) will act as cinematographer.
Campbell-Hughes has been making waves on the international acting scene since landing a role in comic Jack Dee’s sitcom ‘Lead Balloon’, Jane Campion’s ‘Bright Star’ and most recently Oscar-nominated drama ‘Albert Nobbs’. Campbell-Hughes received the Shooting Star Award in February 2012 at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an IFTA this year for her performance in ‘The Other Side of Sleep’.