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Emily Mortimer Sundance Horror Film ‘Relic’ Nabbed by IFC Midnight

The movie directed by Natalie Erika James was meant to play in the Midnighters section at the recently canceled SXSW

“Relic,” a horror and drama that stars Emily Mortimer and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, has been acquired for U.S. distribution by IFC Midnight, the distributor announced Tuesday.

“Relic” was meant to play at the SXSW Film Festival as part of the Midnighters section before the Austin event was canceled over concerns about the coronavirus.

Natalie Erika James made her directorial debut with the film that also stars Bella Heathcote and Robyn Nevin and was executive produced by the Russo brothers. IFC Midnight is planning a fall 2020 release for the film.

“Relic” stars Mortimer and Heathcote as a mother and daughter team who travel to a remote family home to find Mortimer’s widowed mother, Edna (Nevin), after she goes missing. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna.

James wrote the script with Christian White, and “Relic” was produced by Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw and Nine Stories’ Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker, with AGBO’s Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Todd Makurath and Mike Larocca executive producing.

“‘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,” Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and productions of IFC Films, said in a statement.

“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,” the director said in a statement.

Producers Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw from Carver are “exceptionally proud to have worked with Natalie and Christian on ‘Relic’ since its inception and hugely excited to see it released by IFC Midnight in the US.”

“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 Midnight to share this story with audiences nationwide and couldn’t think of a better home for the film,” the Russo brothers said in a statement.

The deal for the film was negotiated by EVP of acquisitions and productions of IFC Films Arianna Bocco and head of business and legal affairs Betsy Rodgers with AGBO’s inside counsel and outside counsel Reder & Feig LLP and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.

Relic is a Carver Films and Nine Stories production with major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with AGBO, and financed with support from Film Victoria.

Deadline first reported news of the sale.

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