“Pontypool,” a Canadian zombie horror-thriller directed by Bruce McDonald, has been acquired for U.S. release by IFC Films. The film will have its New York City premiere in late March as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s Canadian Front 2009, the annual showcase of the best in Canadian cinema. The deal was negotiated by Jeff Deutchman from IFC with PONTYPOOL producers Jeffrey Coghlan, Miles Dale and Ambrose Roche.
Directed by Bruce McDonald, the filmmaker behind “Hard Core Logo” and “The Tracey Fragments,” “Pontypool” stars Stephen McHattie as shock-jock radio D.J. Grant Mazzy. Mazzy has been kicked off of Big City airwaves and finds a job at an early morning show at CLSY Radio in the small town of Pontypool which broadcasts from the basement of the small town’s only church. A series of events leads Mazzy and the small staff at CLSY to find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that the town has been taken over by a deadly virus that may be spreading as a direct result of their radio transmissions.
“‘Pontypool’ is a thought-provoking and suspenseful film with superb direction by Bruce McDonald and great performances by Stephen McHattie and the rest of the cast. It’s a fun genre-bending film destined to become a cult classic,” Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment said in a statement.
“We’re all very excited to have IFC Films taking this picture out,” “Pontypool” producer Miles Dale said in a statement. “They have a great pipeline, and have proven themselves to be very adept at finding audiences for boldly original films like ‘Pontypool.’ They are the perfect partner to take an auteur filmmaker like Bruce to the next level with what is unquestionably his most commercial film to date.”
IFC Films will be releasing the film theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on May 29th, followed by a rollout in select cities across the country. Beginning May 27th, the film will also be available in more than 50,000,000 homes nationwide via movies-on-demand. Maple Pictures will release “Pontypool” theatrically in Canada this spring.
In addition to the U.S. deal, Forward Motion Entertainment, the international sales agent on behalf of “Pontypool,” announced the sale of the film to various foreign territories including: The U.K. (Kaleidoscope); South Korea (Mirovision); the Middle East (Eagle/Phonenicia Pictures); Hungary (Cinetel) and Malaysia (VSG). All of these deals include theatrical release commitments and were negotiated last week at the 2009 Berlinale. Several other key territory deals are expected to be announced shortly.