IFC FILMS TAKES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO BEN WHEATLEY’S SIGHTSEERS
CANNES (May 23, 2012) – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to acclaimed director Ben Wheatley’s (DOWN TERRACE, KILL LIST) dark comedy SIGHTSEERS, a StudioCanal, Film4 and BFI Presentation of a Big Talk Pictures production in association with Rook Films. The film was written by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram with additional material by Amy Jump. Lowe and Oram also star in the film. The project was produced by Nira Park, Claire Jones and Andy Starke and executive produced by Matthew Justice, Jenny Borgars, Danny Perkins, Katherine Butler and Edgar Wright. SIGHTSEERS will premiere in Cannes on Wednesday in the Directors Fortnight section.
In SIGHTSEERS, Chris (Oram) wants to show Tina (Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way – on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina’s led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see – the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that separates these wonders in his life. But it doesn’t take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina’s meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris’s dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him the wrong way, over a very jagged edge.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “We’ve been looking for a comedy as original and hilarious as our past successes IN THE LOOP and THE TRIP, and we are thrilled to say we have found it in SIGHTSEERS. We are even happier this time that it’s from the ingenious Ben Wheatley. It’s great to be back in business with him, Rook Productions and Protagonist Pictures after KILL LIST. We also really look forward to working with our new friends at Big Talk.
Ben Wheatley’s debut film DOWN TERRACE won numerous awards including Best Feature at Fantastic Fest, Raindance and Boston and played major festivals throughout the world (New Directors/New Films, Rotterdam, PIFAN, Melbourne, LA Film Festival). His second feature KILL LIST released in 2011 to global critical acclaim and won several awards including the BIFA for Best Supporting Actor for Michael Smiley and the Empire Award for Best Horror Film. It was named Best Film of the Year by Bloody Disgusting. Ben also won multiple awards for his commercials and viral work including Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions at Cannes advertising Festival and has directed many television shows including BBC3′s cult hits IDEAL and THE WRONG DOOR and C4′s MODERN TOSS.
Sundance Selects/IFC Films is already a major American presence at Cannes this year with four films screening at the festival: Walter Salles’ competition film ON THE ROAD which the company recently acquired and will release jointly under IFC Films and Sundance Selects, Cristian Mungiu’s BEYOND THE HILLS which is being released under the Sundance Selects label, Adam Leon’s SXSW-winner GIMME THE LOOT which is also being released under Sundance Selects and is screening in Un Certain Regard, and Rodney Ascher’s Sundance sensation ROOM 237 which was acquired for IFC Midnight and is screening at Director’s Fortnight.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Ben Roberts at Protagonist on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.