Some pretty great news has come in for those of us who don’t have the funds or the time off from work to attend this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas: IFC Midnight, the new genre label of IFC Films, has announced that four brand new IFC Midnight acquisitions screening at Fantastic Fest (Sept. 23-30) will simultaneously be available nationwide via the movies-on-demand platform.
Here are the details from the press release:
IFC Midnight and Fantastic Fest will be making the following four films available nationwide on major national cable systems that include Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House in conjunction with their screenings at Fantastic Fest 2010: Philip Ridley’s demonic thriller Heartless (review) (making its US debut); Abel Ferry’s mountain climbing nightmare High Lane (making its US debut); Josh Reed’s Ozploitation horror flick Primal (review) (making its US debut); and Simon Rumley’s hard-core Red White & Blue (review here).
IFC Midnight will also make three acclaimed films from Fantastic Fest 2009 available on demand as part of this initiative including: Tom Six’s The Human Centipede (First Sequence), Kim Ji-Woon’s The Good The Bad The Weird, and Jake West’s Doghouse. Primal director Josh Reed and Red White & Blue director Simon Rumley will be in attendance at Fantastic Fest screenings. Red White & Blue and Heartless will also have select theatrical engagements nationwide in the fall in markets that include Austin, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment, said, “Following our successful day-and-date on demand partnerships with SXSW and Sundance, which have included several genre films, a partnership with Fantastic Fest is the next logical step. Tim League has cultivated some of the genre’s most enthusiastic fans, and Fantastic Fest is an ideal festival with which to launch these four amazing films nationwide.”
Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse and Co-Founder of Fantastic Fest said, “We’re very excited to be a part of this new on demand partnership with IFC Midnight. As a long-term friend of Fantastic Fest, IFC Films has an excellent eye for acquiring the very best of genre entertainment and distributing them to viewers in unique and innovative ways. Their new IFC Midnight label is the perfect partner for Fantastic Fest.
Said Simon Rumley, “IFC Films has constantly proved themselves to be innovators in an ever-changing distribution marketplace and has never shied away from working on some of the most interesting and ground-breaking films of our time. Similarly, in a very short period of time, Fantastic Fest has shown itself to be a leader in the world of daring but quality movie programming. To have IFC Films and Fantastic Fest back Red White & Blue is a natural fit, and it’s with much excitement that I anticipate their collective championing and distribution of it.”
This following are in-depth summaries of all four films:
Erica (Amanda Fuller) is a tough, troubled nymphomaniac with wounds across her soul. For Erica, sleeping with multiple men forms the core of her life, until she meets the mysterious Iraq vet Nate (Noah Taylor). Despite his quiet air of danger, Nate’s the only guy who doesn’t immediately want to sleep with her, and the two form a hesitant bond. But in a shocking twist, one of Erica’s earlier sexual encounters, with wannabe rock star Franki (Mark Senter), will have unexpected – and devastating – consequences on both of their lives. Hard-edged and uncompromising, RED WHITE & BLUE, from director Simon Rumley, has already been compared to the works of such disparate filmmakers as Larry Clark and Sam Peckinpah. The film had its US premiere at SXSW, and was produced by Rumley and Bob Portal, and executive produced by Tim League, Judy Lipsey, Doug Abbott, and Adam Goldworm. It is the first film from Celluloid Nightmares, a new partnership between Paris-based Celluloid Dreams and Los Angeles-based XYZ Films, with the shared goal of bringing commercial, elevated genre films to audiences around the world. The film will have several theatrical screenings throughout the US and Canada this fall.
Jim Sturgess leads a hugely-talented ensemble cast in this sublime British psychological thriller from cult UK director Philip Ridley, who returns to the screen after a 14-year absence. The film follows Jamie Morgan (Sturgess), born with a disfiguring birthmark across his face, which leaves him an outcast in rough East London. While wandering abandoned yards taking photographs, he comes across a gang of thugs and soon discovers that they are something other than human. He then is led into a Faustian deal that will see him become a party to the terrifying chaos around him. Part Donnie Darko, part Guillermo del Toro, this dark urban tale takes its audience to the darkest and most violent corners of the human heart. The film also stars Clémence Poésy, Noel Clarke, Joseph Mawle, Eddie Marsan, Luke Treadaway and Timothy Spall, and was produced by Pippa Cross and Richard Raymond. The film recently won the Best Independent Film Award at the Toronto After Dark Festival. HEARTLESS will open at the IFC Center in New York on 11/21 followed by select national dates.
Primordial nature runs amok in this expertly-played slice of neo-Ozploitation from Australian director Josh Reed. The film follows six friends on a field trip who set up camp in the remote wilderness of Australia. When one person takes a late-night skinny dip in a nearby waterhole, she becomes incredibly feverish and agitated, and soon regresses to a crazed predatory state in which her companions suddenly become the hunted. When another begins the same beastly transition, terror descends on the remainder as they realize it’s now kill or be killed. A frenzied visceral nightmare in the vein of Cabin Fever, PRIMAL is a hugely enjoyable roller coaster ride through primitive panic.
Towering heights and beautiful vistas turn into a haunting mindtrip in Abel Ferry’s gripping French scarefest that will definitely make you think twice about your next mountain climbing trip. A group of friends on vacation in Eastern Europe embark on an ambitious mountain expedition along a trail that they discover – way too late – is closed for repair. The thrill of this foolish challenge quickly turns sour as it becomes clear that not only is the path a lot more dangerous than they thought, but also that they are not alone. Fear exposes old traumas and brings up hidden emotions to the surface, and soon, everyone is fighting tooth-and-nail for their survival.
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