StudioCanal has acquired director Jesse O’Brien’s sci-fi feature Arrowhead for Australia and New Zealand. 

Odin's Eye Entertainment's SVP International Distribution and Acquisitions Martin Gallery closed the deal with StudioCanal Australia’s outgoing CEO Robert Slaviero.

Described as "an interstellar Jekyll & Hyde", Arrowhead is the story of Kye, a "prisoner-of-war caught between two armies, neither of whose ideology he believes in". 

"When offered an opportunity for freedom, Kye sets out on one last rescue mission, only to become stranded when his ship crash-lands".

The Australian Writers Guild announced this week that O’Brien’s screenplay was the winner of the John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science Fiction writing. 

The judging panel described Arrowhead as “a taut, evocative, marooned-in-space thriller [that] delivers everything we expect from the sci-fi genre, but never forgets we need more than just what we've already seen, matching tremendous ambition with great execution”.

Past winners of the award include the Spierig Brothers (2015 winners for Predestination).

“StudioCanal is very proud to once again be showcasing rising Australian talent", StudioCanal Australia said. 

"Arrowhead is another strong example of this, where so much has been achieved by Jesse O’Brien and his team through their determination and creativity. We’re so pleased that Arrowhead is garnering plenty of buzz from both sci-fi fans and critics alike, along with recognition from their peers".

Director O'Brien calls Arrowhead "a movie that by most accounts should not exist; its screenplay reads like a multimillion dollar production, and not one that would usually be trusted in the hands of inexperienced dreamers".

"But the fact that the script was funded, the fact that we survived its making with very little resources, and the fact that we're being released by a company with the reach and history of StudioCanal sends a strong message that unbridled, colourful and ambitious genre in Australia isn't only possible, but welcome". 

"We're only a few movies away from a significant genre resurgence in Australia, and if Arrowhead can inspire the imaginations of audiences and other filmmakers, then it has done the very best thing movies can do”.

StudioCanal will release Arrowhead June 9.

The film has sold to Germany (Capelight), UK (Metrodome), Japan (New Select) and Middle East (Phoenicia) for release later this year.

Watch the trailer here.

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