Strand Releasing has picked up U.S. rights to the Australian thriller "Red Hill." The film, Patrick Hughes’s directorial debut that premiered at the Berlinale, stars Ryan Kwanten (Sookie Stackhouse's sexy brother on "True Blood") as Shane Cooper, a fresh arrival to the police force in the small town of Red Hill. The film follows Cooper on his first 24 hours on the job, on which he is faced with a convicted murderer. Along with Kwanten, the film stars veteran Australian actors Steve Bisley and Tom E. Lewis.
Though he concludes that the film lacks in the story department, The Hollywood Reporter's Peter Brunette starts his review by saying, "This first feature demonstrates that 31-year-old Aussie director Patrick Hughes likes to be in control -- after all, he's listed as writer, director, editor, and producer -- and also that he's got a very good eye. The visuals in this Western from Down Under are always expressive and occasionally memorable, and Hughes seems to have a gift for knowing where to put the camera to accentuate his moody thriller."
Before its theatrical release the film will play the Chicago International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, Fantastic Festival, and the Philadelphia Film Festival. Strand will release the film in the U.S. November 5, 2010.