Hotly pursued title has been setting records at the Australian box office since January
Already one of the top 15 of all-time grossing Australian films
NEW YORK, NY (February 18, 2021) – IFC Films announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to Robert Connolly’s atmospheric mystery thriller The Dry, starring Eric Bana in his first Australian film in over a decade. IFC Films will release the Made Up Stories produced film theatrically and on demand on May 21, 2021.
Based on Jane Harper’s best-selling novel, which has sold over a million copies worldwide, The Dry is directed by Robert Connolly from an adaptation by Connolly and Harry Cripps and stars Eric Bana alongside Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell, John Polson, James Frecheville, Matt Nable, Bebe Bettencourt and Sam Corlett. The film is produced by Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky, and Jodi Matterson of Made Up Stories, alongside Connolly and Bana. Made Up Stories previously produced IFC Films’ critically-acclaimed The Nightingale.
Twenty years after leaving his drought-stricken hometown, Federal Agent Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) returns to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, who allegedly murdered his wife and child before taking his own life. When Falk reluctantly agrees to stay in town and investigate the gruesome crime, he opens up an old wound – the decades-old, unsolved death of a teenage girl. Forced to confront the demons of his past and struggling to prove not only Luke’s innocence but his own, Falk finds himself pitted against the prejudice and pent-up rage of a terrified community.
Released in Australia and New Zealand on New Year’s Day to critical and audience acclaim, The Dry is already in the top 15 grossing Australian films of all-time with over AU$17 million to date, garnering over $3.5 million in the best ever debut for an Australian-made feature from an independent studio. The Guardian hailed the film as a gripping and polished thriller, calling it, “taut, tough and tense, matching wide-open spaces with uncomfortably close drama”. Variety agreed, noting Connolly’s skill at building “character intrigue, clever plot twists and red herrings to keep viewers guessing” and praising Eric Bana’s lead performance, writing, “Bana anchors the smartly written drama wonderfully well. Imbuing his steely, no-nonsense character with just the right amount of insecurity and introspection, Bana ensures that audiences will be glued to everything Aaron Falk does and says.”
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, said, “We are thrilled to partner once again with Bruna, Steve and the amazing team at Made Up Stories to bring THE DRY to North American audiences. Eric Bana is at his career best in this riveting true crime thriller and there is no doubt why THE DRY has been one of the most successful independent films released in Australia. We can’t wait to kick off the summer season with this impressive film.”
“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with IFC on The Dry, such a renowned champion of cinema and the perfect home for us in North America” said Connolly, “We’re having such an amazing run with the film in Australia and we’re just thrilled to now be sharing this international detective mystery with audiences throughout the world.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films president Arianna Bocco and IFC Films Director of Acquisitions Aijah Keith, with Endeavor Content acting on behalf of the filmmakers. Cornerstone is selling internationally.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of 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) and digital platforms.
Current releases include Sam Pollard’s acclaimed documentary MLK/FBI and Chad Hartigan’s LITTLE FISH. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
ABOUT MADE UP STORIES
Made Up Stories is a development and production company that amplifies distinctive voices to tell unforgettable stories about the diversity of human experience, driven primarily by multifaceted females on and off-screen. Made Up Stories was founded in 2017, and is led by Bruna Papandrea, the award-winning producer of the critically-acclaimed HBO series BIG LITTLE LIES (eight Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards). Most recently, Made Up Stories produced the film adaptation of the inspiring international bestseller, PENGUIN BLOOM, directed by Glendyn Ivin and starring Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln and Jacki Weaver, that recently premiered on Netflix.
On the television side, Made Up Stories’ HBO series THE UNDOING starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, directed by Susanne Bier and created by David E. Kelley, was nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television. Made Up Stories also executive produced the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series TELL ME YOUR SECRETS created by Harriet Warner and directed by John Polson, starring Lily Rabe, Amy Brenneman, Hamish Linklater, and Enrique Murciano. Additional projects in various stages of production include: NINE PERFECT STRANGERS, based on best-selling author Liane Moriarty’s book, written by David E. Kelley and John Henry Butterworth, and starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy for Hulu; the Netflix thriller PIECES OF HER, adapted from Karin Slaughter’s book, created by Charlotte Stoudt and directed by Minkie Spiro, starring Toni Colette and Bella Heathcote; and ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, based on the international bestseller by Sarah Vaughan, created by David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson that S.J. Clarkson is directing, starring Sienna Miller and Michelle Dockery, for Netflix.