IFC Films, May 22, 2012

IFC Films Takes North American Rights to Ben Wheatley's Sightseers

CANNES May 22, 2012 – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to acclaimed director Ben Wheatley’s (DOWN TERRACE, KILL LIST) dark comedy SIGHTSEERS.  The film was written by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram with additional material by Amy Jump.  Lowe and Oram also star in the film. The project was produced by Nira Park, Claire Jones and Andy Starke and executive produced by Matthew Justice, Jenny Borgars, Danny Perkins, Katherine Butler and Edgar Wright.  SIGHTSEERS will premiere in Cannes on Wednesday in the Directors Fortnight section.

In SIGHTSEERS, Chris (Oram) wants to show Tina (Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way – on a journey through a sceptred isle in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina’s led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see – the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that separates these wonders in his life. But it doesn’t take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina’s meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris’s dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him the wrong way, over a very jagged edge.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "We’ve been looking for a comedy as original and hilarious as our past successes IN THE LOOP and THE TRIP, and we are thrilled to say we have found it in SIGHTSEERS.  We are even happier this time that it’s from the ingenious Ben Wheatley.  We are very happy to be back in business with him after KILL LIST as well as with Nira Jones, Claire Jones and Andy Starke and all of our friends at Protagonist Pictures."

Ben Wheatley’s debut film DOWN TERRACE won numerous awards including Best Feature at Fantastic Fest, Raindance and Boston and played major festivals throughout the world (New Directors/New Films, Rotterdam, PIFAN, Melbourne, LA Film Festival).  His second feature KILL LIST released in 2011 to global critical acclaim and won several awards including the BIFA for Best Supporting Actor for Michael Smiley and the Empire Award for Best Horror Film.  It was named Best Film of the Year by Bloody Disgusting.  Ben also won multiple awards for his commercials and viral work including Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions at Cannes advertising Festival and has directed many television shows including BBC3’s cult hits IDEAL and THE WRONG DOOR and C4’s MODERN TOSS.

Sundance Selects/IFC Films is already a major American presence at Cannes this year with four films screening at the festival: Walter Salles’ competition film ON THE ROAD which the company recently acquired and will release jointly under IFC Films and Sundance Selects, Cristian Mungiu’s BEYOND THE HILLS which is being released under the Sundance Selects label, Adam Leon’s SXSW-winner GIMME THE LOOT which is also being released under Sundance Selects and is screening in Un Certain Regard, and Rodney Ascher’s Sundance sensation ROOM 237 which was acquired for IFC Midnight and is screening at Director’s Fortnight.

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Ben Roberts at Protagonist on behalf of the filmmakers.

IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of quality talent-driven independent film.  Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Touching the Void, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Gomorrah, Che, Summer Hours, Antichrist, In the Loop, Antichrist, Wordplay, Cairo Time, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Tiny Furniture and Carlos.  Over the years, IFC Films has worked with established and breakout auteurs, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noe, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, as well as more recent breakouts such as Andrea Arnold, Mia Hansen Love, Corneliu Porombiou, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Daryl Wein and Abdellatif Kechiche. Upcoming IFC Films releases include Lynn Shelton’s YOUR SISTER’S SISTER with Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt & Mark Duplass, Bruce Beresford’s PEACE LOVE AND MISUNDERSTANDING starring 2 time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen, and Walter Salles’ ON THE ROAD starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst which will be jointly released with Sundance Selects. IFC Films is a sister division to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.


Katelyn Bogacki
Strategy PR/Consulting