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Film Acquisition Rundown: IFC Films Picks Up ‘King Cobra,’ FilmBuff Wants To ‘Level Up’ And More

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that's been picked up around the globe.

King Cobra Fillm

“King Cobra”

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Justin Kelly’s “King Cobra.” The film, written and directed by Kelly, stars James Franco, Christian Slater, Garrett Clayton, Keegan Allen, Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald. It had its world premiere in the Midnight section of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

The film “centers on Sean Lockhart – seventeen and boyishly handsome – who dreams of fame and success even though he’s broke and without direction. When he meets the seemingly conservative Stephen, founder of Cobra Video, he starts to perform in gay porn under the moniker ‘Brent Corrigan,’ creating a slew of wildly successful videos during which he blossoms from a naïve young man into a confident sex symbol. When rival porn producers Joe, a former youth pastor with a bad temper, and Harlow, a former military man, set their sights on stealing Sean from Stephen, an all out porn turf war ensues, resulting in a shocking, gruesome murder in this bizarre, stranger-than fiction true story.”

FilmBuff has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Adam Randall’s feature debut, the action thriller “Level Up.” The film follows Matt, played by Josh Bowman, “a deadbeat gamer, whose girlfriend Anna (Leila Mimmack) is kidnapped. Her abductors keep in contact with him by phone, issuing increasingly ludicrous and dangerous challenges he must complete to keep her alive, forcing him to fight his way across London. When he discovers who kidnapped her and why, he learns he is part of a game far larger than himself – but he still has to get her back.”

The New York-based distribution company have set an August 26 theatrical release for the film, and will release it on Video-on-Demand September 26.

-The Orchard has acquired all North American rights to director Udi Aloni’s film “Junction 48.” The film won the Panorama Audience Award at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival and Best International Narrative Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

The film “is inspired by Tamer Nafar’s life and follows Palestinian rapper Kareem (played by Nafar) who leads an aimless life between odd jobs and hanging out with his buddies in a crime-ridden Arab ghetto of the mixed city of Lyd. A family tragedy brings him closer to his singer girlfriend, Manar, and motivates him to do something more with his life.” The Orchard plans a theatrical release in early 2017.

– Electric Entertainment has acquired all media rights for the U.S. and Canada for the horror comedy “Fear, Inc.” The film world premiered in the Midnight Section at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, is set for a digital release across all VOD platforms on October 21.

In the film, a horror junkie (Lucas Neff) and his friends hire a company that brings their customer’s greatest fears to life.

– Kino Lorber has secured U.S. distribution rights for Simon Stone’s drama “The Daughter,” starring Geoffrey Rush, Ewen Leslie, Paul Schneider, Miranda Otto, Anna Torv, with Odessa Young and Sam Neill. The film debuted in Competition at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival, and it was the Closing Night film at Venice Days, a Special Presentation slot at TIFF and played in Competition at the London, Busan and Rotterdam Film Festivals. “The Daughter” is a modern retelling of Anton Chekhov’s famed play “The Sea Gull.”

The film “follows Christian (Paul Schneider) who returns to his family home for his father Henry’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding to the much younger Anna (Anna Torv). While home, Christian reconnects with his childhood friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie), who has stayed in town working at Henry’s timber mill and is now out of a job. As Christian gets to know Oliver’s wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young) and father Walter (Sam Neill), he discovers a secret that could tear Oliver’s family apart. As he tries to right the wrongs of the past, his actions threaten to shatter the lives of those he left behind years before.”

The movie is slated for national theatrical release this winter.

Violet Crown Films will release the upcoming documentary “Starving the Beast” in Washington, D.C on September 2 and in New York and Chicago on September 9, expanding to additional cities throughout the month. The film premiered at the SXSW 2016 film festival to positive reviews and audience reaction.

From filmmakers Steve Mims and Bill Banowsky, the film “examines the on-going power struggle on college campuses across the nation as political and market-oriented forces push to disrupt and reform America’s public universities. The film documents a philosophical shift that reframes public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the beneficiary of a college degree rather than as a ‘public good’ for society.”

– In related distribution news, Gathr Films has officially launched in Australia with “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.” The film is screening via Theatrical On Demand in Palace Cinemas in Australia starting July 11 with one-day screenings in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Pago Pago and more.

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