NEW YORK, NY (March 11, 2020) – IFC Midnight announced today that it is acquiring North American rights to RELIC, the feature directorial debut of Natalie Erika James. The film stars Emily Mortimer (MARY POPPINS RETURNS, “The Newsroom”), Bella Heathcote (DARK SHADOWS, “The Man in the High Castle”) and Australian theater legend, Robyn Nevin. The script was written by Natalie Erika James and Christian White and produced by Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker with Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Todd Makurath and Mike Larocca executive producing. RELIC had its world premiere in the Midnight section at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and was programmed in the Midnighters section at SXSW. IFC Midnight is planning a Fall 2020 release.
RELIC tells the story of Edna (Robyn Nevin), an elderly and widowed matriarch who goes missing, and her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) who must travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “RELIC could not be a better fit for IFC Midnight. We are thrilled to be working with Natalie on her directorial debut as well as the fantastic cast and production team behind the film.”
Director Natalie Erika James added, “I’m incredibly thrilled to be partnering up with IFC Midnight to get RELIC out into the world. RELIC explores the horrors and tragedy of ageing from a personal place, and I hope it speaks to audiences as it did at its recent Sundance premiere.”
Producers AGBO added, “It was an honor to work with our first-time feature length director Natalie Erika James and the incredible cast of RELIC. Though the film uses horror and thriller elements, there is a deeply rooted story of empathy and compassion that is layered in between and a real sense of beauty that is revealed. We are incredibly proud to be partnering with IFC Films to share this story with audiences nationwide and couldn’t think of a better home for the film.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films Arianna Bocco and Head of Business & Legal Affairs Betsy Rodgers with AGBO and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC MIDNIGHT
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. IFC Midnight is a sister label to IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
Upcoming releases include Małgorzata Szumowska’s THE OTHER LAMB and Albert Shin’s DISAPPEARANCE AT CLIFTON HILL starring David Cronenberg. Some of the company’s successes have included Andy Nyman’s critical darling GHOST STORIES, André Øvredal’s box-office success THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, Peter Strickland’s modern giallo BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO, Duncan Skiles’ THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER, Lucile Hadžihalilović’s EVOLUTION, Johnnie To’s Hong Kong revenge thriller VENGEANCE, Sean Byrne’s THE DEVIL’S CANDY, John McNaughton’s THE HARVEST, and the award-winning and cultural phenomenon THE BABADOOK.
AGBO, founded by award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo, Todd Makurath, and Mike Larocca, is an artist-led collective focused on creating global content for film, television and digital platforms. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, AGBO focuses on nurturing talent and creating best-in-class family, elevated genre and prestige content. Previously announced projects with the studio include ‘Mosul,’ directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan; Cherry, based on a novel by Nico Walker; 21 Bridges, with STX and Chadwick Boseman; and an Extraction with Netflix and Chris Hemsworth.
ABOUT CARVER FILMS
Carver Films (previously Warp Films Australia) is a partnership between award-winning producers Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw. Carver is an independent, Melbourne-based development and production company specialising in international film and television.
Together Shaw and McLeish produced Justin Kurzel’s explosive debut feature Snowtown (known as The Snowtown Murders in USA), which premiered in competition at Critics Week, Cannes 2011. They then produced Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland’s New Zealand-set Shopping, which premiered in World Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2013, and won the Grand Prix in its section at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival. The producing duo continued their track record with launching exceptional first-time feature directors, producing Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan starring Vincent Cassel (World Dramatic Competition, Sundance 2015).
McLeish and Shaw recently produced SBS TV drama series Sunshine, starring Melanie Lynskey, Anthony LaPaglia and directed by Daina Reid (Handmaid’s Tale S.2 and S.3), which opened Séries Mania in Melbourne and won the 2017 AACTA for Best Telefeature or Mini-Series. Carver also produced Eddie Martin’s (All This Mayhem) feature documentary Have You Seen the Listers?, which screened at Rotterdam and Hot Docs in 2018 and launched on Netflix in 2019.
Carver recently completed Relic, starring Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin and Bella Heathcote, produced in partnership with Nine Stories’ Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker, and AGBO’s Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers Infinity War, Avengers End Game). They’re heading into production on Daina Reid’s Run Rabbit Run (written by acclaimed Burial Rites novilist Hannah Kent) in 2020 and continuing their collaboration with Natalie Erika James on her next feature, Drum Wave.
ABOUT NINE STORIES
Nine Stories, founded by Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker in 2015, is a New York based production company dedicated to working with visionary storytellers in all fields. The company is quickly becoming a force – sourcing material, developing it from the ground up, collaborating with bold storytellers, and shepherding the projects through release. Among their highly acclaimed past projects are Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, which received a 2019 Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Feature; David Gordon Green’s 2017 feature film Stronger, starring Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman; Hondros, an award-winning documentary on war photographer Chris Hondros; and for the stage, the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece Sunday in the Park with George, starring Gyllenhaal and Tony® winner Annaleigh Ashford, which will return to the stage for a limited engagement in the West End at the Savoy Theatre in June 2020; Sea Wall / A Life, which debuted at the Public Theatre and moved to Broadway in a highly successful limited engagement starring Gyllenhaal and Tony® Award nominee Tom Sturridge; We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time by playwright David Cale at the Public Theater; and the critically acclaimed Slave Play directed by Robert O’Hara currently at the Golden Theatre. And Nine Stories is producing Tony Kushner’s & Jeanine Tesori’s Tony® Award nominated and Olivier Award winning musical Caroline, or Change at the Roundabout Theatre Company for Spring 2020.
Additionally, Nine Stories has numerous films in various stages of development. In post-production: Antonio Campos’ The Devil All The Time for Netflix starring Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgard, Eliza Scanlen and Jason Clarke; Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Good Joe Bell starring Mark Wahlberg, Connie Britton, Reid Miller, and Gary Sinise; and Tate Taylor’s Breaking News in Yuba County starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Awkwafina and Regina Hall.