IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ “Swallow,” a feminist horror film that premiered this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival. It scored strong critical notices and went on to win the festival’s best actress award for its star Haley Bennett. One Tribeca-goer was reportedly so scared, she fainted. The indie studio plans to release the film theatrically in the 2020.
“‘Swallow’ is one of the most provocative and timely films we have seen yet this year with a star turning performance from Haley Bennett,” said Arianna Bocco executive VP of acquisitions and productions of IFC Films. “We’re thrilled to introduce Carlo Mirabella-Davis to U.S. audiences with this stunning first-time feature debut.”
“Swallow” centers on a pregnant woman (Bennett) who compulsively begins to eat dangerous objects. As her husband (Austin Stowell) and his family tighten exert more control over her life, she is forced to confront the dark secret behind her uncontrollable obsession. The film is about more than scares. It poses questions about the pressures imposed on women by a patriarchal culture, as well as the limits placed on women’s control over their own bodies. That kind of inquiry could resonate in a presidential election year in which women’s rights will be front-and-center.
In a positive review, Variety’s Peter Debruge called the film “stately” and “deeply unsettling,” and went on to predict that “Swallow” “is sure to be controversial, but undeniably powerful, and ought to ensure sufficient notoriety for the film to break through the crowded indie marketplace.”
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Elizabeth Marvel, David Rasche, Laith Nakli, and Denis O’Hare round out the cast. “Swallow” was produced by Mollye Asher and Mynette Louie alongside Carole Baraton of Charades and Frédéric Fiore of Logical Pictures. Bennett executive produced along with Joe Wright, Constantin Briest, Yohann Comte, Pierre Mazars, Eric Tavitian, and Sam Bisbee. IFC Films will be releasing “Swallow” theatrically in 2020.
“I’m incredibly thrilled to be working with IFC Films on my first feature! I’ve long admired all the brilliant, groundbreaking films they’ve brought to the world.” said Mirabella-Davis. “It’s been amazing sharing ‘Swallow’ with festival audiences, and we can’t wait for a wider audience to see it.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco and IFC Films Director of Acquisitions and Production Aijah Keith with CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group representing the filmmakers. Upcoming IFC releases include the Australian revenge thriller “The Nightingale” and the political drama “Official Secrets.”