Tristan Barr’s ‘Subject’ secures US VOD release

Tristan Barr and Stephen Phillips on the set of 'Subject'.

Tristan Barr’s Melbourne-shot horror Subject will have a North American digital release later this year after being acquired by Cineverse/Cinedigm.

The film, which was captured across three weeks in Northcote during 2019, will be added to VOD service Screambox as an original title, following its US premiere at the Chattanooga Film Festival in Tennessee next month.

Subject stars Stephen Phillips as Willem Poirer, a drug-addicted criminal who accepts an offer to carry out his sentence by observing a mysterious creature in a secretive government facility.

When the creature starts to grow and make Willem recount his heinous acts of the past, the struggle to rehabilitate becomes a struggle for survival.

The film was written by the LA-based Vincent Befi, who submitted it to Continuance Pictures’ inaugural Continue Short Film initiative in 2019, with Barr and his Continuance co-founder David Gim going on to produce the feature version.

It was selected for the 2021 Frontières Buyers Showcase at Cannes’ Marché du Film and was one of three Continuance titles to be included in last year’s Monsterfest line-up alongside shorts The Secret of Mount Trolla, also from Barr, and Phillip James Rouse’s The Last Lesson.

The US acquisition was negotiated through Jason Scott Goldberg, who executive produced the film with Daniel and Mark Kim. Umbrella Entertainment has acquired the Australian rights to Subject and is planning a September release.

Gim told IF he was “proud and thrilled” to have the project be “one of the few Australian films to be acquired for US digital release by ScreamBox this year”.

The news comes after UK-based sales and distribution company Blue Finch Film Releasing acquired international sales rights to Continuance’s first US feature Headcount, a neo-Western thriller from director Ben Burghart starring Aaron Jakubenko, Melanie Zanetti and Ryan Kwanten, with sales launched at the Cannes Marché du Film.

Continuance is also in the midst of developing feature versions of Secret of Mount Trolla and The Last Lesson, and has also produced Amanda Kaye’s short Good Times and That’s Okay, which will premiere at the St Kilda Film Festival next week.