From a freaky directorial debut to an indie thriller to a true story about a labor activist and a new Miyazaki film, here’s a round-up of movies that have secured distribution…
David Cronenberg's son Brandon Cronenberg proudly stepped into his own as a filmmaker, premiering his feature-length debut "Antiviral" at the Cannes Film Festival last month. Starring Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon and Malcolm McDowell, the film is a full on body horror freak fest that, while a bit uneven, will nonetheless fill your creep quota. The story takes place in a near future in which celebrity obsession has leaped to the next level, where fans infect themselves with the diseases of their favorite stars. Jones plays a worker at a clinic who also deals in black market viruses but gets caught up in a scheme that could cost him his life. IFC Midnight recently scooped up the rights, which seems like the perfect home for the film. [THR]
Meanwhile, the shingle has also picked up the rights to the home invasion thriller “Replicas.” The film, which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival (read our review here), centers on the Hughes family who has their cottage vacation violently interrupted by a neighboring family on a murderous and identity stealing journey, in search of the “perfect” life. [Deadline]
All North American rights to Diego Luna’s next directorial effort “Chavez” have been bought by Participant Media. The film is based on the true story of the Latino labor activist Cesar E. Chavez (Michael Peña) who organized the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California. Keir Pearson, no stranger to real-life drama as the scribe behind “Hotel Rwanda,” has penned the script for the film, which stars Michael Pena, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley, Michael Cudlitz and Gabriel Mann. [Deadline]
The latest release from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli, “From Up On Poppy Hill,” now has North American distribution courtesy of the New York-based indie animation distributor GKids. The film, written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki, is set in Yokohama in 1963 and centers on a high school couple’s innocent love and the secrets surrounding their births. The story takes place in a Japan that is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics – and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the new generation struggles to embrace modernity and throw off the shackles of a troubled past. The film also boasts a 1960’s pop soundtrack. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are executive producing the English-language version.