Jennifer Kent’s ‘The Nightingale’ Acquired by IFC Films Ahead of Sundance

Follow-up to “The Babadook” won Special Jury Prize at 2018 Venice International Film Festival

Last Updated: January 9, 2019 @ 8:26 AM

IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to “The Nightingale,” the latest film from Jennifer Kent, the Australian director of “The Babadook,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

IFC Films is re-teaming with Kent after distributing “The Babadook” in 2014. The film made $10.3 million worldwide. IFC is planning a summer release for “The Nightingale,” picking up the thriller ahead of its North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

“The Nightingale” premiered at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize, as well as the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Performer for Baykali Ganambarr.

The film stars Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games”) and Aisling Franciosi (“Game of Thrones”) and is set on one night in 1820s Tasmania. Here’s the synopsis via the Sundance website:

Clare, a young Irish convict, loses everything she holds dear after her family is horrifically attacked. She’s immediately driven to track down and seek revenge against the British officer who oversaw the horror, so she enlists the service of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy. Marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past, Billy reluctantly agrees to take her through the interior of Tasmania. On this brutal quest for blood, Clare gets much more than she bargained for.

Kent’s “The Babadook” also premiered at Sundance in the Midnight section in 2014.

“The Nightingale” is a Causeway Films and Made Up Stories production with principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Bron Creative, and financed with support from Screen Tasmania, South Australian Film Corporation, Kojo Productions and the Adelaide Film Festival. FilmNation is handling international sales.

Variety was first to report.

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