One of the most highly anticipated undistributed films of 2020 was Nicholas Ashe Bateman’s feature debut “The Wanting Mare,” a VFX-heavy fantasy that spans generations and the cosmos. After festival play and online buzz, the film has finally found a home thanks to Gravitas Ventures, which will launch “Wanting Mare” in available theaters and on VOD February 5. Watch the trailer below.
Director Bateman previously worked behind the scenes contributing digital effects to films like “Free Solo” and “Wendy,” and most recently served as a VFX supervisor on David Lowery’s upcoming “The Green Knight.” Now,he’s taking the directing reins. Bateman also wrote “The Wanting Mare,” billed as the first in a series of films set on the fictional planet of Anmaere.
IndieWire’s Eric Kohn had high praise for the film on IndieWire’s list of the best undistributed films of 2020:
Director Nicholas Ashe’s haunting sci-fi debut imagines the fantastical world of Anmaere, where horses run wild and are a treasured resource. In the eerie, noir-like city of Whithren, this backdrop provides for a beguiling family drama that spans generations. With time, Ashe’s movie blossoms into a kind of minimalist post-apocalyptic sequel to “Game of Thrones,” envisioning a universe where magic once dominated society but has since seeped out of the frame — leaving only an isolated society where the social order has broken down and stragglers battle to survive each day.
It’s here that Ashe first follows the plight of Moira (Christine Kellogg-Darrin) survives on the outskirts of Whithren, where a serendipitous encounter with a wounded man leads her to a transformative experience as she fights for a ticket out of town. Years later, the movie shifts to the experience of Moira’s adopted child, who battles through an underground crime syndicate to achieve the escape her mother always dreamed about. Ashe works wonders with tone and hints of a vast, shadowy landscape hovering just on the brink of each intimate frame, resulting in one of the year’s most intriguing debuts — one that points to a larger mythology and more movies that might come out of it. Someone should invest in this DIY franchise.