Wider US release for Australian drama

The Playbook, an Australian drama about a basketball coach whose life is torn apart after a tragic accident, will be released on at least 140 screens in the US.

First-time feature writer/director/producer Darran Scott has just secured a deal to distribute the film on 100-plus screens in Utah, Arizona and Idaho through sales agent Heritage International and Excel Films/Deseret.

That’s in addition to a deal signed earlier this year with CMD, which will release the film on 40 screens across the Southern States.

A November launch is planned, followed by DVD/VoD in December via CMD, which will also distribute the film on home entertainment in Brazil.

“This is a significant release for a little Aussie micro-budget film,” says Scott, adding that the release has the potential to broaden to 200 screens in Utah, Arizona and Idaho.

“CMD is looking to place DVD units into major US retailers such as WalMart, with Deseret placing units into their massive chain of retail outlets.  I'm pretty excited, considering how many Aussie films can't even get a US release.”

It still rankles him that Australian distributors rejected his film, resulting in a 14-screen release in the capitals last year, and that he has been unable to secure a retail DVD deal.

The privately funded film used the producer offset and got a grant from Film Victoria’s Regional Location Assistance Fund.

The cast includes Mick Preston, Harry Borland, Dennis Coard, Lauren Clair, Kath Gordon and newcomer Lloyd Edwards. Australian and NBA basketball star Luc Longley has a cameo.

Preston plays Steven Thomas, a loving father and basketball coach. After a tragic accident caused by a drunken friend sees his family torn apart, he struggles to forgive the person responsible.

Through the support of his young basketball team, he uses his basketball playbook to rekindle his spiritual beliefs and get his life and family back on track.