Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff announced today the acquisition of US distribution rights to the romantic-horror Spring at Fantastic Fest. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (creators of the critically acclaimed film festival darling Resolution), and shot in coastal Italy, the film was written by Benson and stars Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) and introduces Nadia Hilker. Spring was produced by Benson, Moorhead and David Lawson, with 9.99 Films producing the film in Italy and XYZ Films partners Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, Aram Tertzakian, and Todd Brown executive producing.
Spring's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month earned high praise from audiences and critics. RogerEbert.com called it "a hybrid of Richard Linklater and H.P. Lovecraft," and Sound On Sight lauded the film as a "sublimely constructed genre-bender." Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff acquired the film following a packed-house screening in Austin, TX this past weekend at Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US. Its European premiere is slated for the forthcoming Sitges Film Festival, followed closely by the BFI London Film Festival. Drafthouse Films and FilmBuff plan a theatrical and video-on-demand release in early 2015.
A character-driven love story with an intriguing sci-fi/horror premise, Spring follows the story of a young man in a personal tailspin as he flees Southern California to the Italian coast, where he sparks up a romance with a beautiful woman carrying a dark secret. "Upon seeing Spring, we were instantly floored by the strength of the filmmaking, performances, and the film's fresh voice," said Steven Beckman, Head of Content at FilmBuff. "We have always been fans of Drafthouse Films and we are thrilled to be partnering together to connect the film with genre, art house, and broader audiences."
The deal was negotiated by Nate Bolotin and Mette-Marie Katz of XYZ Films, James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse, and Steven Beckman of FilmBuff.
XYZ has also sold multiple foreign territories for the film including Metrodome for the United Kingdom, Raven Banner for Canada, Falcon for the Middle East, and AT Entertainment for Japan.
"We chose Drafthouse and FilmBuff because they run more like a label than a corporation, and we know the release will be a collaboration. Above all they reward taking risks, making them among the few distributors that dare to be disruptive. We love being subversive while remaining broadly appealing, which is perfectly in line with the Drafthouse/FilmBuff philosophy. Tim League is a hero of ours and we couldn't be more proud to join the family," said Moorhead & Benson.
Moorhead & Benson are represented by Management 360, CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.