Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale picked up by IFC Films
The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to the upcoming period thriller The Nightingale from acclaimed Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent, which will have its domestic debut at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film, which is set in 1825, follows 21-year-old Irish convict Clare (Aisling Franciosi, Game of Thrones) as she finishes her prison sentence but is still forced to deal with the abusive Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin, Charlie’s Angels) after her release. After her husband retaliates, Hawkins and his crew respond violently against Clare’s family, sending her on a revenge-driven path as he heads up north for a captaincy position. Clare enlists the help of an Aboriginal tracker (Baykali Ganambarr) to chase Hawkins through the Tasmania wilderness.
The Nightingale marks Kent’s second directorial effort following her debut with the 2014 acclaimed horror film The Babadook, which also marked her first collaboration with IFC Films and proved to be a critical and commercial hit for the studio and director.
“The Babadook was one of our most successful acquisitions at IFC and we could not be happier to continue our partnership with Jennifer on her next feature. She is undoubtedly one of the most talented writer-directors working today and we can’t wait to share The Nightingale with audiences across the country,” Lisa Schwartz, co-President of IFC Films, said.
The film had its Australian premiere at the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival, where it debuted to very positive reviews from critics, currently maintaining a 78 percent rating from critics on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews.
“IFC is the perfect choice for The Nightingale. I have a lot of faith in them after working together on The Babadook and seeing firsthand how much they support and respect their filmmakers,” Kent said.
While no limited or wide theatrical release date has been set by IFC Films, The Nightingale will premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which begins on January 24 and runs to February 3.