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Screen Gems Take SXSW’s “Attack The Block”

Screen Gems Take SXSW's "Attack The Block"

SXSW premiere “Attack The Block” will be distributed by Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced today. The London-set adventure – directed by Joe Cornish – won the Midnight Feature Audience Award. Check out indieWIRE‘s review here.

Full press release below.

CULVER CITY, CA April 6, 2011 – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced today that it has acquired U.S. rights to ATTACK THE BLOCK written and directed by Joe Cornish. Screen Gems will distribute the highly regarded film which won the Midnight Feature Audience Award at this year’s South By Southwest Film Festival. The announcement was made today by SPWA President Steve Bersch and Screen Gems’ President Clint Culpepper.

The London-set action-adventure ATTACK THE BLOCK stars Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard, Luke Treadaway, Jumayn Hunter, and Nick Frost. The Big Talk Pictures production was produced by Nira Park and James Wilson. Matthew Justice, Tessa Ross, Jenny Borgars, Will Clarke, Olivier Courson, and Edgar Wright executive produced.

Culpepper said, “Steve Bersch screened this film for me and I fell completely in love with it. The film is, at once, charming, scary, funny, hip, clever and completely hits its mark. I hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with these incredibly talented filmmakers.”

Bersch stated, “ATTACK THE BLOCK has already proven to captivate the SXSW audience with its unique and suspense filled plot including our executives Scott Shooman and Lia Buman who saw it during the festival and raved about it. Joe has created a piece of work we know the masses will enjoy and we are thrilled to be bringing it to a larger stage through Screen Gems.”

ATTACK THE BLOCK follows a gang of tough inner-city kids who rob Sam (Whittaker) as she is walking home in a scary South London tower block. She flees when the gang is attacked by a small alien creature which falls from the sky. While Sam and the police hunt for the gang, a second wave of creatures falls. The gang grabs weapons, mount bikes, and set out to defend their turf. But this time, the creatures are much bigger. Savage and bestial, nothing will stand in their way. And the bunch of no-hope kids who just attacked Sam are about to become her only hope.

SPWA’s Michael Helfand and Scott Shooman negotiated the acquisition of ATTACK OF THE BLOCK on behalf of Sony with StudioCanal’s Harold van Lier. The film was co-developed and financed by StudioCanal, Film4 and the UK Film Council with StudioCanal handling worldwide sales and releasing in the UK through its company Optimum on May 11th.

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I have posted here a very interesting view on Attack the Block which has not been explored before on this blog or in the media generally.

I hope you post this on your blog because it brings up the issue of race.

Mike Bellicec

It will be interesting to see how this film plays for mainstream American audiences, who may need sub-titles for the ubiquitous London street slang. Also, it is pitched very young (8-12-years of age?), despite the copious amounts of swearing that earned it a 15 rating in the UK. Finally, it is very hard to recover from the fact that the kids, who later become the ‘heroes’ of the story, start out by mugging a nurse at gun-point.

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