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Drafthouse picks up vintage Kotcheff pic

Aussie thriller 'Wake in Fright' was selected for Cannes

Drafthouse Films has acquired North American rights to Australian thriller “Wake In Fright.”

Directed by Ted Kotcheff (“Rambo: First Blood,” “North Dallas Forty”), the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher’s descent into demoralization at the hands of derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia.

“Wake In Fright” will be shown at Film Forum in New York on Oct. 5 and at The Nuart in Los Angeles on Oct. 19, then expand to additional markets before a home video and VOD release in the first quarter.

“Wake In Fright” made its debut at Cannes in 1971 and returned to the festival in 2009 courtesy of guest curator Martin Scorsese, following a restoration.

“Wake In Fright” was restored after the negative was found in Pittsburgh. The materials were then restored frame by frame at Sydney’s AtLab Deluxe with the aid of the National Film and Sound Archives of Australia.

The deal was negotiated by Drafthouse CEO Tim League, Evan Husney and James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse Films and Emily Stothers and Nick Batzias of Madman Entertainment.

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