Luke Shanahan’s debut feature Rabbit will be distributed in the US by the company whose biggest success is Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

The Orchard, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Shanahan’s psychological thriller on digital platforms, probably after platform screenings in Los Angeles and New York.

Produced by David Ngo for Projector Films, the film stars Adelaide Clemens as medical student Maude Ashton, who is haunted by dreams of her missing sister Cleo and convinced, against the evidence, that she is still alive.

Maude returns to their childhood home determined to find her. With the help of Cleo’s fiancé Ralph (Alex Russell), Maude tracks her twin to a hidden commune where she learns that their fates are intertwined.

The global sales agent Instrum International is pitching the film to buyers at the Cannes Film Market. Vendetta Films is planning a theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Co-funded by the SAFC, the film had its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival and is currently travelling the circuit, including Sitges and Fantastic Fest earlier this year.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople ran for 19 weeks in the US, grossing $US5.2 million. The Orchard also handled the video release of Jemaine Clement and  Waititi’s horror mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows.

Ngo tells IF: “The Orchard did an amazing job with Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in The Shadows so we can’t wait to see what they do with Rabbit. They are very different films, but unique.”

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