Paramount Pictures has acquired distribution rights for Australia & New Zealand for the highly anticipated feature film WASTED ON THE YOUNG.

Invited into this year’s prestigious Sydney Film Festival Official Competition where it had its World Premiere and received an ‘honourable mention’, WASTED ON THE YOUNG marks the feature debut of Writer & Director Ben C. Lucas and is Produced by Janelle Landers and Aidan O’Bryan.

The film tells the story of an incident at a high school party that sets off a dramatic chain of events and has two brothers finding their lives at the mercy of popular opinion.

Sydney actor Oliver Ackland (The Proposition), recipient of the inaugural Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship last year, leads the cast of WASTED ON THE YOUNG, alongside Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), TJ Power (Eat, Pray, Love), newcomer Alex Russell and Georgina Haig (Road Train, Underbelly).

Mike Selwyn, Managing Director, Paramount Pictures Australia & New Zealand, is delighted that Paramount has secured this keenly sought-after film.

“As soon as we saw WASTED ON THE YOUNG we recognized that Ben Lucas was a major new talent and along with Janelle and Aidan, the producers, they have crafted a stunning, provocative film that Paramount is proud to be releasing”, said Selwyn.

Producer Janelle Landers said: "We're really pleased that WASTED ON THE YOUNG is going out with the distributor that we had always hoped to secure for the film in Australia. We think it's a fantastic affirmation of Ben's and everyone else's work on the film and we're excited that Paramount see the same great potential for the release as we do."

Shot in Perth in 2009, the film received funding support from ScreenWest and Screen Australia. International sales are being handled by Fortissimo Films.

WASTED ON THE YOUNG is slated for release in early 2011.

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