Drafthouse Films announced today their North American acquisition of rights to Ted Kotcheff’s Australian thriller, “Wake in Fright,” a film that has been restored to its original glory since its 1971 Cannes debut.
Seen as one of the most influential films for the development of modern Australian cinema, the film stars Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond and Silvia Kay among others. “Wake in Fright” screened again at Cannes in 2009 after its restoration was complete, and became one of two films to be shown twice in the history of Cannes. It comes out October 5 at Film Forum in New York City and then heads to The NuArt in Los Angeles on October 19, with an expansion to additional markets before a home video and VOD release in the first quarter of 2013.
“Wake in Fright” tells the frightening tale of a teacher’s downward spiral into destruction. A synopsis of the film from its official acquisition release follows:
Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left… Believed lost for many years, Wake in Fright has been painstakingly restored by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form.