Sundance: IFC Midnight Grabs U.S. and Latin American Rights to ‘The Babadook’

Psychological horror film marks Jennifer Kent’s feature debut

IFC Midnight has acquired the U.S. and Latin American rights to Jennifer Kent’s deature fim debut, the psychological horror film “The Babadook.”

The film stars Australian actress Essie Davis as a single mother who must cope with her troubled son and the shadowy monster that has taken over their home.  Davis’ character, Amelia, is also plagued by the violent death of her husband. At odds with her own child and this terrifying presence in her home, she is forced to confront this dark entity lurking in her house.

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Newcomer Noah Wiseman also stars in the film, which has a supporting cast that includes Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, and Ben Winspear.

“This is an extraordinary debut feature from a brilliant Australian filmmaker named Jennifer Kent who has crafted the perfect classic horror film,” Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring said of the film. “We were blown away by the two lead performances in the film, and we believe that people will see this film and realize that Jennifer Kent has arrived as one of the great new horror filmmakers.”

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“The Babadook,” which made its world premiere this week in the Midnight Section of the Sundance Film Festival, was produced by Kristina Ceyton of Causeway Films and Kristian Moliere. Jonathan Page, Michael Tear, Jan Chapman, and Jeff Harrison executive produced the film.

International rights to the film are being handled by Entertainment One Films International (eOne).

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“Sundance audiences and U.S. critics have thrilled to ‘The Babadook’s’ chills,” said Kathleen Drumm, head of marketing for Screen Australia, the Australian screen production industry’s chief funding body and a major investor in the film. “It’s fantastic that IFC Midnight has done the same, and that this impressive debut feature will find a home with wider American audiences.”

The deal for the film’s U.S. and Latin American rights was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions and Productions, at Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with John Sloss for Cinetic Media, on behalf of Harold van Lier and Charlotte Mickie for eOne, and the filmmakers.