Gunpowder & Sky Distribution has bought the North American rights to Australian serial-killer drama “Hounds of Love” and will launch a theatrical release on May 12.

The debut film from writer/director Ben Young will make its North American premiere in March at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. Melissa Kelly is the producer.

Starring Emma Booth, Stephen Curry, and Ashleigh Cummings, “Hounds of Love” had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where Cummings took home the award for Best Actress in a Debut Film. It also won a Best Director award for Young and Best Actress award for Booth at the Brussels International Film Festival.

Eddie Cockrell called the film a “genre-bending powerhouse thriller” in his Venice review for Variety. 

The story is set in suburban Perth during the mid 1980s, where people are unaware that women are disappearing at the hands of a serial killer couple. After an innocent lapse in judgment, one of those adbucted realizes she must find a way to drive a wedge between the couple if she is to survive.

Young was drawn to the idea of “Hounds of Love” after reading a true crime book about female serial killers. “It triggered a strong memory of fear from my childhood that was instilled by my parents as a result of crimes committed by a serial killer couple,” he said.

Gunpowder and Sky’s Jake Hanly said, “Our whole team was floored by the strength of Ben’s vision and his unique character-driven twist on the serial killer film. The cast delivers brave performances that resonate long after the film has ended.”

The deal was negotiated by Hanly and Eric Schnedecker of Urban Distribution International.