Clara Rugaard appears in I Am Mother by Grant Sputore, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ian Routledge. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Claire Rugaard in ‘I Am Mother’

Netflix has acquired North American rights to Grant Sputore’s debut feature I Am Mother after its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The global streaming giant had already bought the rights in several international territories to the sci-fi thriller scripted by Michael Lloyd Green, which stars Hilary Swank, Rose Byrne and Clara Rugaard.

Endeavour Content negotiated the deal for the producers, the Penguin Empire’s Kelvin Munro and Southern Light Films’ Timothy White.

Co-producer Anna Vincent tells IF: “It was a competitive negotiation with a number of interested parties. Netflix was the strongest. We’re very happy.”

Mister Smith Entertainment pre-sold the rights to every major international territory except China based on the cast, script and early footage. Studiocanal, which committed to the project early on, is the Australian distributor.

Based on a story by Sputore and Green, the film follows a teenage girl (Rugaard), who is the first of a new generation of humans to be raised by Mother (Byrne), a robot designed to repopulate the earth after the extinction of humankind.

The pair’s unique relationship is threatened when an injured stranger (Swank) arrives with news that calls into question everything Daughter has been told about the outside world and her Mother’s intentions.

The film co-funded by Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Screenwest and the Adelaide Film Festival received glowing reviews in Sundance.

Sputore is among 13 creatives who will travel to New York in March, supported by Screen Australia, to attend the Australian International Screen Forum and participate in professional development and networking opportunities.

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  1. Anyone know how much money Netflix paid for this film? Given the “low budget”, I’m curious to know since it was never released theatrically. So Netflix must pay more than a cinema release?

    Just how profitable is it to make a film like this and be hopeful someone buys it? I don’t understand the process. I understand the initial investment from production companies, but what sort of return does Netflix bring… is it worth it? Or do they just break even?

  2. I actually heard that one of the producers deferred his fees on this, and that he won’t see them back for years – Netflix pays in tranches over extended period of time.

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