IFC Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Valhalla Rising,” marking the first pick-up by a major U.S. specialty distributor during the Toronto Film Festival. The film – which premiered this past Friday – is Danish filmmaker Refn’s follow-up to “Bronson.” It stars Mads Mikkelsen as One-Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, who journeys into the “heart of darkness” after being held prisoner for many years.
“Nicolas Winding Refn knows film like no other director,” Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment said in a statement. “He elevates genre to the realm of art and has established himself as one of the most audacious filmmakers working in Europe today. ‘Valhalla Rising,’ is one of the most visceral and exciting films we’ve seen in a long time. We’re absolutely thrilled to be in business with him and reunited with Nimbus Films.”
The deal for “Rising,” negotiated by IFC Films acquisitions topper Arianna Bocco and Carole Baraton from Wild Bunch, is one of the first major acquisitions to be announced out of the 2009 festival. IFC Films won distribution rights following a bidding war. They plan to release “Valhalla Rising” in 2010 via its IFC In Theaters program.