By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire May 20, 2011 at 7:26AM
IFC Midnight today took North American rights to the psychological thriller "Snowtown" in Cannes. The film marks the directorial debut of Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel.
Before arriving in Cannes, the film picked up the Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival. The thriller is currently in competition for the Camera d'Or.
Read the full release below:
IFC MIDNIGHT TAKES ALL NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO JUSTIN KURZEL’S SNOWTOWN AT CANNES
Cannes, FRANCE (May 20, 2011) – IFC Midnight announced today from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel’s psychological thriller SNOWTOWN from Protagonist Pictures. The directorial debut for Kurzel, with a screenplay by Shaun Grant, stars Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, and Louise Harris. The film is the first feature from the newly formed Warp Australia, an offshoot of Warp Films in the UK, and was produced by Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw. Arriving with much buzz after winning the Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival, the film was just awarded a special citation last night by the Critics’ Week jury. The film is also in competition for the Camera d'Or.
Based on a true story, SNOWTOWN follows sixteen-year-old Jamie (Pittaway) who begins a friendship with a charismatic older man (Henshall). As the relationship grows, so do Jamie's suspicions, until he finds his world threatened by both his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father-figure. The older man Jamie befriended was John Bunting, Australia's most notorious serial killer.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "SNOWTOWN is a phenomenal debut film that announces Justin Kurzel as a major new voice. We are thrilled to introduce him to American audiences and happy to continue our relationship with Protagonist Pictures after In The Loop and our upcoming release Kill List.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions, and Jeff Deutchman, Manager of Acquisitions & Productions, for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Ben Roberts, CEO of Protagonist Pictures, on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Midnight’s sister division Sundance Selects picked up several other titles at this week’s festival including U.S. rights to Julia Leigh’s SLEEPING BEAUTY; all North American rights to writer/director Bertrand Bonello’s HOUSE OF TOLERANCE; a pre-buy of all U.S. rights to writer/director Mia Hansen Love’s GOODBYE FIRST LOVE; and all U.S. rights to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s THE KID WITH A BIKE.
IFC Midnight is a sister division to IFC Films and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by Rainbow Media.