Saban Films has acquired North American rights to “Shepherd,” a supernatural thriller by writer-director Russell Owen.
Following its world premiere at BFI London Film Festival, “Shepherd” was released in theaters in the United Kingdom last month and has generated $19 million to date. It doesn’t yet have a release date domestically.
“Shepherd” centers on Eric Black, who finds work on a remote, weather-worn Scottish island after the sudden death of his wife. As his sadness continues to engulf him, so do the supernatural portents of his stark new surroundings. He soon becomes plagued by terrifying visions until it is clear he must confront his past trauma to survive.
The film stars Tom Hughes (Red Joan, “Victoria”), Kate Dickie (“Game of Thrones,” The Green Knight), Gaia Weiss (“Vikings,” “Medici”) and Greta Scacchi (The Player). Karim Prince Tshibangu and Aslam Parvez served as producers.
Owen calls the movie a “passion project,” one that is loosely based on a true story from his native Wales.
“It’s a huge privilege to see this story hit the big screen and I’m extremely pleased to be working with Saban on getting this labour of love to a North American audience,” he said.
Saban Films executive Bill Bromiley adds, “Russell serves up pure nightmare fuel, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality in this chilling meditation on grief. The performances are heartbreaking, especially from the compelling Hughes. We’re thrilled to bring this emotionally powerful, yet wildly unnerving film to audiences.”
The deal was negotiated by Steve Break for Saban Films and Andrew Brown of Parkland Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.
Saban Films’ recent acquisitions include K. Asher Levin’s thriller “Dig,” starring Thomas Jane, Harlow Jane, Emile Hirsch and Liana Liberato; Jesse Harris’ survival thriller “Borrego” with Lucy Hale, Nicholas Gonzalez, Olivia Trujillo, and Leynar Gómez and Paul Andrew Williams’ British revenge thriller “Bull” featuring Neil Maskell, David Hayman, and Tamzin Outhwaite.