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Film Acquisition Rundown: Strand Releasing Picks Up ‘The Ornithologist,’ Shout! Takes ‘The Ticket’ 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.

“The Ornithologist”

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.

– EXCLUSIVE: Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American distribution rights to Nick Corporon’s debut feature film, “Retake.” The film follows “a handsome businessman [who] hires a prostitute to role-play as his long-lost love. What follows is a road trip full of manipulation and mystery as both men near their final destination.” The film premiered in 2016 at Frameline, and went on to play ImageOut, Reel Q, Seattle Twist, Reel Affirmations and Outfest. It stars Tuc Watkins and Devon Graye.

Breaking Glass is planning a theatrical premiere in Los Angeles followed by an On Demand and DVD release early in the first quarter of 2017.

– Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues’ “The Ornithologist,” ahead of its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival. The film had its world premiere at this year’s Locarno festival, where it won the Silver Leopard for best director, later going on to screen at Toronto for its North American bow.

Of the buy, Rodrigues said: “It’s nice to be working with a distributor that has maintained relationships with its filmmakers and to help bring these audacious voices from around the world to the U.S. market.” The news was first reported by Variety.

– Shout! Factory, a multi-platform media company, has acquired North American distribution rights to Ido Fluk’s “The Ticket,” starring Dan Stevens. The film premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. The distributor has secured all North American distribution rights to the film, including theatrical, video on-demand, digital, broadcast and home entertainment for cross-platform releases in U.S. and Canada.

The film centers on “a blind man, James (Dan Stevens) [who] inexplicably regains his vision, and becomes possessed by a drive to make a better life for himself. However, his new improvements-a nicer home, a higher paying job, tailored suits, luxury car-leave little room for the people who were part of his old, simpler life: his plain wife (Malin Akerman) and close friend Bob (Oliver Platt). As his relationships buckle under the strain of his snowballing ambition, it becomes uncertain if James can ever return from darkness.”

Shout! Factory plans a strategic rollout of this movie across multiple entertainment platforms, beginning with a theatrical launch in 2017 through Shout! Factory Films.

– Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to the romantic drama, “Midnight Sun,” starring Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rob Riggle and Quinn Shepard and directed by Scott Speer. They will release the film nationwide July 14, 2017.

The film “follows 17-year-old Katie Price (Thorne), sheltered since childhood with a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight. Katie’s world opens up after dark when she ventures out to play her guitar for travelers. One night, she meets Charlie (Schwarzenegger) whom she has secretly admired for years. She hides her condition from him, and the two embark on a uniquely powerful romance. Rob Riggle plays Katie’s loving and compassionate father, Jack, who endeavors to give his daughter a good life.”

– FUSION and Univision have announced the feature documentary “Hate Rising” will make its television premiere October 23 at 10PM during unprecedented dual-broadcasts on FUSION in English and Univision Network in Spanish. The film is directed by Emmy-nominated Catherine Tambini, reported by award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos, and produced by Univision Story House in conjunction with FUSION. “Hate Rising” will be released theatrically in Los Angeles on October 14 and in New York on October 21.

– Momentum Pictures has announced the acquisition of the horror film, “The Possession Experiment.” Directed by Scott B. Hansen and written by Mary J. Dixon and Hansen, the film stars Chris Minor, Jake Brinn, Nicky Jasper, with KT Fanelli and Bill Moseley.

The film “tells the story of Brandon (Minor), who has always been drawn to the supernatural. When asked to pick a topic to base his final world theology class project on, he decides to explore the dark world of exorcisms. Teamed up with three classmates, the group investigates a multiple homicide that they eventually discover was an exorcism gone horribly wrong. Brandon becomes obsessed with the event, and in a strange turn of events, decides the only way to research this topic is to undergo an exorcism himself.”

– Altered Innocence has picked up the U.S. rights to Pirjo Honkasalo’s “Concrete Night.” The film had its world premiere in the Masters section of the Toronto International Film Festival and is set for a release in January 2017. “Concrete Night” also screened at a variety of other festivals, picked up six Jussi Awards and is Finland’s official entry to the Academy Awards.

The film “tells the story of impressionable 14-year-old Simo as he keeps his soon-to-be incarcerated brother company over the course of one night in a beautiful and otherworldly Helsinki.” The news was first reported by Variety.

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