Two tense, psychological Australian thrillers have been picked up by overseas distributors.

South Australian film Snowtown, directed by Justin Kurzel, has been sold to Revolver Entertainment for UK distribution rights after a bidding war through sales agent Protagonist Pictures followed its screening at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this week.

The Shaun Grant-penned film, produced by Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw, has had theatre-goers talking since it won the audience award at the BigPond Adelaide Film Festival.

Based on true events, the Warps Films Australia flick is set in Adelaide’s northern suburbs and based on real crimes of Australian serial killer John Bunting.

Financed by Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Film Victoria, BAFF and Omnilab Media, the powerful psychological film explores the relationship between 16-year-old Jamie Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway) and father-figure and mentor Bunting (Daniel Henshall).

The film has also sold to independent French distribution company ARP Selection – which in the past picked up rights to Animal Kingdom and more recently Sleeping Beauty.

Snowtown opens in Australia, through Madman Entertainment, today (Thursday, May 19). To view the trailer, click here.

Western Australian thriller Blame, written and directed by Michael ‘Hank’ Henry, has been acquired by distributor Lightning Entertainment from London-based sales company High Point Films for a North American release.

French distributor CTV has also picked up the rights, High Fliers will distribute the film in the UK and Ireland, while DD Dreams and Sinema TV bought the rights for China and Turkey, respectively. HBO will handle TV rights for central Europe.

Blame, the first Australian film to shoot at 4.5K resolution on the Red One camera, follows a group of five young friends who aim to commit the perfect murder, seeking revenge for their friend’s death. It stars Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate), Damian de Montemas (The Secret Life Of Us), Kestie Morassi (Wolf Creek), Simon Stone (The Eye of the Storm), Mark Leonard Winter (The Pacific) and Ashley Zukerman (Rush).

The $1.8 million film was financed by ScreenWest, MIFF, 3 Monkey Films, Factor 30 Films and Screen Australia.

“It’s not the traditional revenge thriller as such, it becomes a much more intense psychological drama about truth and lies and how people respond when they find themselves in circumstances increasingly outside of their control,” producer Ryan Hodgson says.

Blame, distributed in Australia by Pack Screen’s Peter Castaldi and produced by 3monkeyfilms and Factor 30 Films,opens nationwide on June 16. To view the trailer, click here.

For a full feature on Blame, check out the upcoming June/July edition of IF magazine.

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