Film won Critic's Week citation at Cannes

IFC Midnight has snapped up North American rights to Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel’s psychological thriller ”Snowtown” from Protagonist Pictures.

Company made the announcement Friday at the Cannes Film Festival, where ”Snowtown” was awarded a special citation on the previous night by the Critics’ Week jury. The film is also in competition for the Camera d’Or.

”Snowtown” is the directorial debut for Kurzel. Shaun Grant wrote the script.

Film stars Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall and Louise Harris. It’s the first feature from the newly formed Warp Australia, an offshoot of Warp Films in the UK.

Producers are Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw. Based on a true story involving Australian serial killer John Bunting, the film follows a 16-year-old (played by Pittaway) who begins a friendship with a charismatic older man (portrayed by Henshall). As the relationship grows, the teen finds his world threatened by both his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father-figure.

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