By Brendan Swift

Neo-western Red Hill will be released in the US by Sony Pictures after the distributor struck a deal with sales agent Arclight Films.

The Australian film, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, stars Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and was written, produced and directed by Patrick Hughes, alongside producer Al Clark (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Chopper; Blessed).

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group vice president of acquisitions and productions, Scott Shooman, said: “Hughes has contemporized the revenge western with such style and adrenaline that we jumped at the opportunity to distribute such a bad ass movie”.

A release date has not yet been set for the film, which follows young police officer Shane Cooper (Kwanten) as he relocates to a small country town, where a prison break sends the local law enforcement officers into a panic.

Of the four Australian films released in the US last year, Jane Campion’s Bright Star was the most successful, taking $US4.4 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. Earlier this year, vampire film Daybreakers grossed an impressive $US30.1 million.

Australia’s most successful local film at the box office last year, Mao’s Last Dancer, has yet to secure a US release.

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