Screen Media Films has acquired U.S. rights to writer-director Riley Stearns’ indie thriller “Faults,” which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Leland Orser, Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Jon Gries and Lance Reddick, the company announced Tuesday.
“Faults,” which serves as Stearns’s directorial debut, made its world premiere earlier this year at SXSW. Screen Media will give the film a nationwide theatrical release on March 6, 2015 that will be accompanied by a day-and-date VOD platform release.
In “Faults,” Claire (Winstead) is under the grip of a mysterious cult called Faults. Desperate to be reunited with their daughter, Claire’s parents set out to recruit Ansel Roth (Orser), one of the world’s foremost authorities on cults and mind control. But Ansel’s specialty, deprogramming cult members and returning them to their families, is not an exact science, and a series of financial setbacks has left him in debt to his manager. Ansel warns Claire’s parents that his deprogramming methods are risky and expensive, but they agree to hire him to kidnap and deprogram their daughter. Claire quickly reveals herself to be a formidable challenge. Her belief is unshakeable and her logic is undeniable. A battle of wits develops between the two as they delve deeper and deeper into each other’s minds.
“Riley’s debut film is an incredibly strong one — we were blown away with his vision and execution after seeing it at SXSW,” said Seth Needle, director of acquisitions and marketing at Screen Media. “To create such incredible characters, environment and unnerving tone in his first film is truly impressive.”
“We’re delighted to be working with Screen Media on the US release of ‘Faults,'” said Keith Calder, president of Snoot Entertainment. “Everyone at Screen Media has expressed such passion for the film, and it’s a pleasure to work with a company that wants to support strong young filmmakers like Riley Stearns.”
Snoot Entertainment’s Keith and Jessica Calder produced “Faults” along with Winstead. Brian Joe executive produced the film, which was co-produced by Chris Harding and Roxanne Benjamin.
The deal was negotiated by Needle and Screen Media president Suzanne Blech, and WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.
Building on their burgeoning relationship, Screen Media also acquired a second film from producer Keith Calder and now has all rights to “The Key Man,” starring Jack Davenport, Hugo Weaving, Judy Greer and Brian Cox. The film will be distributed on iTunes and all VOD platforms plus DVD in the first quarter of 2015. WME Global negotiated this deal on behalf of the filmmakers as well with Screen Media’s Blech and Needle.