The Middle Man


Out on:Theatrical 10th March 2023

“An austere, darkly comic social satire… an understated gem” Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

“Full of quirky charm” Stephen Dalton, The Film Verdict

“A delectable U.S.-set black comedy… bleakly absurd laughs with thoughtful musings on fate and small-town life” Shaun Munro, Flickering Myth

“A visual field day… what I adore about The Middle Man is the tiny universe that [director] Bent Hamer has crafted” Kurt Halfyard, Screen Anarchy

Sovereign is proud to announce the release of Bent Hamer’s quirky black comedy THE MIDDLE MAN on 10th March in UK cinemas.

Shown as a Special Presentation at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, and winner of the Best Actor Award (for lead actor Pål Sverre Hagen) at the 2022 Amanda Awards in Norway, Norwegian writer/director Bent Hamer’s eccentric comedy drama is set in a small town plagued by accidents and economic woes, where one man has the unenviable job of breaking bad news to its citizens. Featuring a superb performance by Pål Sverre Hagen (Kon-Tiki’s) as the titular character with the thankless job, the supporting cast includes Aksel Hennie (The Trip), Nicolas Bro (Riders of Justice), Rossif Sutherland (Possessor), and Don McKellar (eXistenZ), with a terrific role for Due South’s Paul Gross, here playing the town sheriff. THE MIDDLE MAN is deliciously funny, very dark and superbly entertaining, with a hint of the Coen brothers’ Fargo, and a unique European/American flavour of its own.

Visually rich, wonderfully dry and filled with beautifully scripted, enigmatic exchanges between the town’s buttoned-up citizens, THE MIDDLE MAN is an offbeat treat, shot through with Hamer’s skewed yet ultimately compassionate view of humanity.

Hamer’s debut feature Eggs was nominated for the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, and won the International Critics Award at the Toronto Film Festival; his 2003 comedy drama Kitchen Stories won numerous awards, including best film at the Amanda Awards in Norway, and Best Director at the Copenhagen International Film Festival; and his 2005 film Factotum, an adaptation of the Charles Bukowski cult novel, starring Matt Dillon, won Best Director at the Copenhagen International Film Festival.

Synopsis: Frank Farrelli takes on the job as a middle man in the God-forsaken town of Karmack, USA, a community in a depression so deep that they need a middle man to professionally communicate more of the bad news.


The Middle Man has been shown as a Special Presentation at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, at the 2022 Amanda Awards in Norway, where it won Best Actor Award for Pål Sverre Hagen, and at the 2022 Silk Road International Film Festival China, where it was nominated for the Golden Silk Road Award for Best Film.


SOVEREIGN releases auteur-driven feature films in the UK, from emerging and established international talent. Our carefully curated titles have played to strong critical and audience acclaim, often premiering at renowned international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlinale, Toronto, Venice and many more.

Previously acquired titles include Peru’s entry into the Oscars ‘SONG WITHOUT A NAME’, which screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival; Philippine crime drama ‘VERDICT’, which received the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the 76th Venice Film Festival; historical drama ‘MALMKROG’, which won Best Director in the Encounter section and opened the 70th Berlin Film Festival; Argentinian psychological thriller ‘A COMMON CRIME’, which received its world premiere at the 70th Berlin Film Festival; ‘BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN’, which won the Golden Bear at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival; and controversial Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov’s ‘PETROV’S FLU’, winner of the prestigious CTS Artist award at last year’s Cannes Film festival, and also nominated for the Palme d’Or; ‘MEMORIA’, from Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, starring Tilda Swinton, which won the Cannes Jury Prize in 2021; Bolivian director Kiro Russo’s ‘THE GREAT MOVEMENT’, winner of the Special Jury Prize in the Horizons strand at the 2021 Venice Film Festival; Damien Odoul’s cinematic odyssey ‘THEO AND THE METAMORPHOSIS’, Winner of the Grand Prix at the New Horizons Film Festival in Poland; Ulrich Seidl’s ‘RIMINI’, winner of the Grand Prix for Best Feature Film at the Diagonale Film Festival; and most recently, Argentinian director Diego Lerman’s ‘THE SUBSTITUTE’ (El Suplente), which won the Silver Seashell for Best Supporting Performance (by Renata Lerman) at the 70th San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Sovereign is a UK-based entertainment company committed to telling important and relevant stories across film, theatre, music and the arts. Sovereign’s productions include Palme d’Or winner ‘TRIANGLE OF SADNESS’, starring Woody Harelson, from acclaimed director Ruben Ostlund (winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or for ‘The Square’) which received its UK premiere at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, ‘THE TREE OF LIFE’ (3 Oscar nominations), starring Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt; ‘EFFIE GRAY’, starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson and Julie Walters; and ‘VOYAGE OF TIME’ with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Upcoming productions include ‘EUREKA’ with Viggo Mortensen and ‘INSIDE’ starring Willem Dafoe.



In Cinemas
10th March, 2023
Release date
10th March, 2023


Bent Hamer