Major territory deals for The Fear of Darkness

Distributors in the US, the UK and Turkey have bought The Fear of Darkness, a supernatural thriller from writer-director Chris Fitchett.

Producer Mark Overett is planning to stage Q&A screenings attended by Fitchett and key cast around Australia following the April 11 world premiere at the Gold Coast Film Festival.

He’s just done a deal with Transmission to release the film on DVD and Blu-ray, VOD and pay-per-view.

The saga of a brilliant young psychiatrist who is forced to confront the dark creature that dwells deep within her own unconscious when she investigates the disappearance of a university student, the film stars Penelope Mitchell, Maeve Dermody, Aaron Pedersen, Mark Leonard Winter, Damien Garvey and Christopher Sommers.

Alchemy (formerly Millennium Entertainment ) bought  the US rights and Signature got the UK rights from the worldwide sales agent Arclight.

“We’re on the road to breaking even,” Overett tells IF. He and Fitchett are major stakeholders after investing their fees. Other funding came from the producer offset, Screen Queensland and Cutting Edge.

Mitchell, who is currently starring in The Vampire Diaries, plays a patient in a psychiatric clinic who is accused of a gruesome crime.

Dermody is an empathetic psychiatrist who believes there is more to the case. Pederson is a talented criminal psychologist and Winter is a womanizing university lecturer.

Overett will 4-wall the cinemas starting with a regional tour of Queensland in June on about 10 screens followed by Q&As in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart. The title will go out in ancillary markets in September.

Explaining the rationale, Overett says, “With a genre film we could have had a traditional theatrical release but we would have lost money. With Q&A screenings and hopefully other festivals, followed by DVD and online, there is a chance we will make money.”

Fitchett hadn’t directed a feature since Desolation Angels in 1982 but his producer credits include Blurred, Under the Radar and A Heartbeat Away. His “day job” is teaching film and TV at Bond University.