Film had its World Premiere Friday as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto, ON (September 14, 2009) – IFC Films, one of the leading American distributors for independent and foreign films, announced today at the Toronto International Film Festival it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to VALHALLA RISING, an action-adventure movie about a Viking warrior. The film has received strong critical praise following its World Premiere here on Friday.
Directed by the visionary Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, VALHALLA RISING is his follow to the critically acclaimed Bronson and Pusher, his mafia movie trilogy. VALHALLA RISING stars Mads Mikkelsen, star of the first two Pusher films, as well as After the Wedding and Flame and Citron which were both released by IFC Films. He also starred in last year’s Casino Royale.
The deal is one of the first major acquisitions to be announced out of the 2009 festival, and IFC Films won distribution rights following a bidding war.
The deal was negotiated by IFC Films acquisitions topper Arianna Bocco with Carole Baraton from Wild Bunch.
VALHALLA RISING tells the story of One-Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, who has been held prisoner by the chieftain Barde for many years . Aided by a boy, Are, he kills his captor and together they escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One-Eye and Are board a Viking vessel but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that first disintegrates as they sight an unknown land. As the new land reveals its secrets and the Vikings meet a ghastly fate, One-Eye discovers his true self. Referencing masters like Akira Kurosawa Sergio Leone, and Andrei Tarkovsky, VALHALLA RISING shows how carnage, once invoked, has no fealty but to itself.
Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment said, "Nicolas Winding Refn knows film like no other director. He elevates genre to the realm of art and has established himself as one of the most audacious filmmakers working in Europe today. VALHALLA RISING is one of the most visceral and exciting films we’ve seen in a long time. We’re absolutely thrilled to be in business with him and reunited with Nimbus Films."
IFC Films plans to release VALHALLA RISING in 2010 via its IFC In Theaters program.
Described by TIFF programers as "one of the most daring and audacious directors in Europe," Nicolas Winding Refn is best known for the Pusher trilogy, which transplanted the gangster film to Copenhagen and gave it a tragic import and epic scale. Born in Copenhagen, Nicolas Winding Refn studied in New York City at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He made his feature directing debut with the first Pusher film in 1996. He has since directed the features Bleeder (99), Fear X (03), Pusher II: With Blood on My Hands (04), Pusher III:I’m the Angel of Death (05), and Bronson (09).
About IFC Entertainment
A leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, Festival Direct, IFC Productions, and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distributor of independent film. Its unique day and date distribution model, ’IFC In Theaters,’ makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, reaching 50 million homes. ’IFC Festival Direct’ features a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals and offers them exclusively through Video on Demand. IFC Productions is a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects. IFC Center is a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema with luxurious seating and HD digital and 35mm projection that shows art-house films in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. IFC Entertainment’s companies are subsidiaries of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.