IFC Fiims has picked up another movie at Sundance, the psychological horror film The Babadook from first-time director Jennifer Kent, which they will distribute in the U.S. and Latin America under the IFC Midnight imprint. The international rights will be handled by Entertainment One Films International (eOne). The Australian horror film debuted as part of the Park City at Midnight track.
In the film, Essie Davis plays Amelia, a single mother who has to deal with a troubled son and a monster that’s taken over their home after the violent death of her husband, forcing her to face the dark entity. Newcomer Noah Wiseman plays Amelia’s son, and the cast is rounded out by Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West and Ben Winspear.
In the official press release, Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring stated: “This is an extraordinary debut feature from a brilliant Australian filmmaker named Jennifer Kent who has crafted the perfect classic horror film. We were blown away by the two lead performances in the film, and we believe that people will see this film and realize that Jennifer Kent has arrived as one of the great new horror filmmakers.”
“Sundance audiences and U.S. critics have thrilled to The Babadook’s chills,” added Kathleen Drumm, head of marketing for Screen Australia, a major investor in the film. “It’s fantastic that IFC Midnight has done the same, and that this impressive debut feature will find a home with wider American audiences.”
Produced by Kristina Ceyton of Causeway Films and Kristian Moliere, the distribution deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions and Productions at Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with John Sloss for Cinetic Media, on behalf of Harold van Lier and Charlotte Mickie for eOne, and the filmmakers.