September 22, 2014 // Franchising.com // AUSTIN, TX - Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff announced today the acquisition of US distribution rights to the romantic-horror Spring at Fantastic Fest. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (creators of the critically acclaimed film festival darling Resolution), and shot in coastal Italy, the film was written by Benson and stars Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) and introduces Nadia Hilker. Spring was produced by Benson, Moorhead and David Lawson, with 9.99 Films producing the film in Italy and XYZ Films partners Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, Aram Tertzakian, and Todd Brown executive producing.
Spring's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month earned high praise from audiences and critics. RogerEbert.com called it "a hybrid of Richard Linklater and H.P. Lovecraft," and Sound On Sight lauded the film as a "sublimely constructed genre-bender." Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff acquired the film following a packed-house screening in Austin, TX this past weekend at Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US. Its European premiere is slated for the forthcoming Sitges Film Festival, followed closely by the BFI London Film Festival. Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff plan a theatrical and video-on-demand release in early 2015.
A character-driven love story with an intriguing sci-fi/horror premise, Spring follows the story of a young man in a personal tailspin as he flees Southern California to the Italian coast, where he sparks up a romance with a beautiful woman carrying a dark secret. "Upon seeing Spring, we were instantly floored by the strength of the filmmaking, performances, and the film's fresh voice," said Steven Beckman, Head of Content at FilmBuff. "We have always been fans of Drafthouse Films and we are thrilled to be partnering together to connect the film with genre, art house, and broader audiences."
The deal was negotiated by Nate Bolotin and Mette-Marie Katz of XYZ Films, James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse, and Steven Beckman of FilmBuff.
XYZ has also sold multiple foreign territories for the film including Metrodome for the United Kingdom, Raven Banner for Canada, Falcon for the Middle East, and AT Entertainment for Japan.
"We chose Drafthouse and FilmBuff because they run more like a label than a corporation, and we know the release will be a collaboration. Above all they reward taking risks, making them among the few distributors that dare to be disruptive. We love being subversive while remaining broadly appealing, which is perfectly in line with the Drafthouse/FilmBuff philosophy. Tim League is a hero of ours and we couldn't be more proud to join the family," said Moorhead & Benson.
Moorhead & Benson are represented by Management 360, CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.
Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the earnestly simple motto of "sharing the films we love with widest audience possible," Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named one of Time Magazine's "Top 10 Films Of The Year." The company's second release Bullhead was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar® in 2012, followed by internationally celebrated Danish comedy Klown, which was slated for a Warner Bros/Todd Phillips produced US remake. The release of groundbreaking documentaryThe Act Of Killing, produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog won top prizes at festivals worldwide and earned the year's strongest box office opening for a documentary in 2013.
The 2014 slate includes the SXSW Midnight Audience Award black comedy/thriller Cheap Thrills, Ben Wheatley's "psychedelic trip into magic and madness "A Field In England, the Netherlands' official 2014 Oscar® entry Borgman, Japanese auteur Sion Sono's Toronto International Film Festival Audience Award-winning Why Don't You Play In Hell?, Cannes 2013 official selection Nothing Bad Can Happen and Ari Folman's epic sci-fi animated/live-action hybrid The Congress starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Hamm.
FilmBuff distributes compelling video and films across all media, with a focus on the digital space. FilmBuff's deep relationships within the creative community provide access to cutting-edge content that consistently informs, entertains and inspires audiences around the world. Connect with FilmBuff at www.FilmBuff.com and @filmbuff.
Moorhead & Benson are the writing and directing team behind the 2013 acclaimed indie hit Resolution. After its world premiere in the Tribeca Film Festival, Resolution played more than 30 film festivals, garnering such awards as Most Innovative Film, Best Directors, Best Screenplay, and Best Film. They recently directed a segment for the popular horror anthology, V/H/S: Viral. They are currently in development on a movie about infamous Victorian occultist Aleister Crowley, as well as a coming of age TV show about a young man's pursuit of a mysterious MacGuffin-esque treasure.
XYZ FILMS is an LA-based film production and sales company founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian, with partner Todd Brown joining the company in 2009.
XYZ had a number of films at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, including Kevin Smith's Midnight Madness horror film Tusk, on which XYZ is executive producing and handling international sales. They are also executive producing and handling world sales on the Special Presentation film The Dead Lands, which recently so to multiple foreign territories. Finally, Electric Boogaloo is a Midnight Madness selection that was executive produced by XYZ.
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