Eyes of My Mother
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Magnet Releasing, the genre division of Magnolia Pictures, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the Sundance horror thriller “The Eyes of My Mother,” Variety has learned.

There were several bids on the table for the buzzy project by first-time filmmaker Nicolas Pesce, which was shot in black and white. The movie will receive a theatrical debut later this year.

“The Eyes of My Mother,” which premiered in the “Next” section at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, follows a woman (Kika Magalhaes) who lives in an abandoned farmhouse. Although the eerie, gory story caused some festival goers at Sundance to flee the theater, many appreciated the film’s subtle take on the horror thriller genre reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock meets Roald Dahl meets the “Saw” franchise.

“Nicolas Pesce has crafted an auspicious and unforgettable debut that immediately establishes him as one of the most exciting genre filmmakers to watch today,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “This is the kind of film Magnet was started for.”

Pesce added: “I’m very excited for the film to have found a home with Magnet. They’re responsible for releasing so many of the movies that inspired me, so to be included in this family is incredible. The life they’ve given to both foreign and domestic genre films is unparalleled, so for ‘The Eyes of My Mother’ to be released through them is a dream come true.”

Magnet Releasing has previously distributed such films as Tomas Alfredson’s “Let the Right One In,” Takeshi Miike’s “13 Assassins” and Christopher Smith’s “Black Death.”

“The Eyes of My Mother” was produced by Max Born, Jacob Wasserman and Schuyler Weiss. Executive producers include Borderline Films’ Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mond.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia’s Dori Begley and John Von Thaden and UTA Independent Film Group.

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