NEW YORK, NY (January, 09 2019) — IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights from BRON Studios, Causeway Films and Made Up Stories to THE NIGHTINGALE, written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jennifer Kent (THE BABADOOK), starring Aisling Franciosi (GAME OF THRONES), Sam Claflin (THE HUNGER GAMES), and newcomer Baykali Ganambarr; produced by Kristina Ceyton, Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky, and Jennifer Kent, and executive produced by Brenda Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Aaron L. Gilbert, Ben Browning, and Alison Cohen. The film had its World Premiere at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival’s Venezia 75 competition where it won the Special Jury Prize as well as the Marcello Mastroianni award for Best New Young Performer for Baykali Ganambarr. THE NIGHTINGALE will have its North American Premiere in the ‘Spotlight Section’ at the upcoming 2019 Sundance Film Festival. IFC Films has previously collaborated with Kent on her breakout sensation and cultural phenomenon, THE BABADOOK, which premiered in the Midnight section at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won numerous awards, including a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film. The film will be released theatrically in summer 2019.
THE NIGHTINGALE follows Clare (AISLING FRANCIOSI), a 21-year-old Irish convict in 1820s Tasmania, who having served her 7-year sentence, is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (SAM CLAFLIN) who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare’s husband Aidan (MICHAEL SHEASBY), retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies. Unable to secure justice from the British authorities, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. She is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (BAYKALI GANAMBARR) who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness, to track down Hawkins. The terrain and the prevailing hostilities are frightening, as fighting between the original inhabitants of the land and its colonisers plays out in what is now known as ‘The Black War.’ Clare and Billy are hostile towards each other from the outset, both suffering their own traumas and mutual distrust, but as their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, they must learn to trust each other, to see each other as more than a source of hatred, and to weigh up the true cost of revenge and violence.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films, who negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content, said, “We are thrilled to reunite with Jennifer Kent on her second feature after the critical and cultural success of THE BABADOOK in the US. She is an impressive talent with a distinct voice that confronts and explores so many significant issues of our time. We are proud to welcome her back to the IFC Family and remain committed to supporting strong female voices and new filmmakers.”
Lisa Schwartz, Co-President of IFC Films added, “THE BABADOOK was one of our most successful acquisitions at IFC and we could not be happier to continue our partnership with Jennifer on her next feature. She is undoubtedly one of the most talented writer/directors working today and we can’t wait to share THE NIGHTINGALE with audiences across the country.”
Jennifer Kent added, “IFC is the perfect choice for THE NIGHTINGALE. I have a lot of faith in them after working together on THE BABADOOK and seeing firsthand how much they support and respect their filmmakers. I look forward to teaming up again in 2019 to bring THE NIGHTINGALE to American audiences.”
THE NIGHTINGALE is a Causeway Films and Made Up Stories production with principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Bron Creative, and financed with support from Screen Tasmania, South Australian Film Corporation, Kojo Productions and the Adelaide Film Festival. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.
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) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes. Upcoming releases include DONNYBROOK directed by Tim Sutton, NON-FICTION directed by Olivier Assayas and THE WEDDING GUEST directed by Michael Winterbottom. 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.