IFC Films is near a deal to acquire Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title “The Rider,” written and directed by Chloé Zhao, TheWrap has exclusively learned.
‘The Rider” is Zhao’s second feature and second film selected for Directors’ Fortnight.
Based on the true story of Brady Jandreau, the film stars Jandreau along with Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Lane Scott and Cat Clifford and tells the story of a young rodeo hotshot grappling with the aftermath of an accident that leaves him unable to ride.
“Once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, young cowboy Brady is warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete,” according to a statement. “In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.”
Shot on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, “The Rider” marries the majestic vistas of the greatest American westerns with a deeply interior story of a cowboy having to renegotiate his identity.
Chinese-born, British and American educated Zhao is a writer, director and producer. “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015, followed by its Directors’ Fortnight selection. The film was nominated for three 2016 Independent Spirit Awards.
“The Rider” was produced by Zhao’s Highwayman Films, Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche of Caviar Films, and Mollye Asher. Caviar’s Michael Sagol and Jasper Thomlinson serve as executive producers.