IFC Films


NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 20, 2020) – IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to SUMMERLAND, the directorial feature debut from director/writer Jessica Swale. Jessica is an Olivier award-winning theatre director and was hailed as one of Variety’s Brits to Watch in 2019. The film stars Gemma Arterton (THEIR FINEST, VITA AND VIRGINIA), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, BELLE), Penelope Wilton (DOWNTON ABBEY, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), and Tom Courtenay (45 YEARS, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO). Producing are Guy Heeley (LOCKE) and Adrian Sturges (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED). IFC Films will release the film on July 31st, 2020.

SUMMERLAND follows the story of fiercely independent folklore investigator, Alice (Gemma Arterton) who secludes herself in her clifftop study, debunking myths using science to disprove the existence of magic. Consumed by her work, but also profoundly lonely, she is haunted by a love affair from her past. When spirited young Frank (Lucas Bond), an evacuee from the London Blitz, is dumped into her irritable care, his innocence and curiosity awaken Alice’s deeply buried emotions. Bravely embracing life’s miraculous unpredictability, Alice learns that wounds may be healed, second chances do occur, and that – just perhaps – magic really does exist.

Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions at IFC Films said, “SUMMERLAND reinforces the importance of opening oneself up to love and kindness in all different forms, and we’re proud to bring this powerful message and fierce debut from Jessica Swale to capture the hearts of audiences right now.”

Director Jessica Swale added, “I’m delighted to be working with IFC to bring Summerland to the US. Summerland is about hope, imagination and the possible existence of magic. It is about finding light after darkness, and, as such, has never felt more timely. I can’t wait to share this story, in which Gemma gives a performance unlike anything we have seen her do before, as a woman who learns to embrace life, against all odds, in all its complexity and diversity”.

The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ EVP of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco with Embankment Films and Gersh on behalf of the filmmakers.

Summerland is a Quickfire and BFI presentation of a Shoebox Films and Iota Films production.



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.

Upcoming releases include THE TRUTH directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Shannon Murphy’s BABYTEETH.  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 Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

Press Contacts