By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 18, 2010 at 3:23AM
Sony Pictures Classics has announced that they have acquired all US and Latin American rights to David Michod's Sundance prize winner "Animal Kingdom." The film, written and directed by Michod, was financed in conjunction with Screen Australia, Porchlight Films, Film Victoria, Screen NSW, Fulcrum Finance and Showtime Australia and E1 Entertainment. It is Michod's first feature-length film.
"There is nothing more exciting than the birth of a major filmmaker," Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement. "David Michod is about as major as they come. Just when you think you have seen every conceivable angle on the gangster movie along comes a movie like 'Animal Kingdom' that is so fresh it feels like a reinvention of the genre. It is fresh, tough, entertaining. Audiences throughout America will love it. We are pleased to be working with David, producer Liz Watts and again with our friends at UTA and E1 International."
Set in the Melbourne underworld, "Kingdom" is a tale of survival and revenge, following a seventeen year-old boy who is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him. Starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver, Sullivan Stapleton and James Frecheville, it was very well received upon its Sundance premiere, managing a "B+" average from indieWIRE's critic's poll.
"My experience at Sundance this year, and the reception Animal Kingdom received there, was exhilarating. Knowing now that the movie will be released to audiences across America by the talented and experienced team at Sony Classics caps off what's been a pretty special couple of weeks," said director David Michod in a statement.
The deal was negotiated by Rena Ronson of UTA's Independent Film Group which represented North American rights on behalf of the producers, and E1 Entertainment International, with E1 acting as the international sales agent. David Michod is also represented by UTA.
International territories sold to date by E1 Entertainment International are UK (Optimum Releasing), France (ARP Selection), Italy (Mikado Films), Scandinavia (Scanbox Entertainment), and CIS (Film Depot).