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RLJE Films and Shudder have acquired Nyla Innuksuk’s “Slash/Back,” an alien invasion thriller that premiered to raves at this year’s SXSW.

The two companies are business units of AMC Networks. The film is expected to be released in theaters and on VOD/Digital before streaming on Shudder later this year. Shudder is focused on horror, thriller and supernatural content, so the appeal is obvious.

“Slash/Back” is the feature directorial debut of Innuksuk, who also co-wrote the film with Ryan Cavan (“The Secret Goat”). It stars a young cast that includes Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Wolfe, Nalajoss Ellsworth and Chelsea Prusky.

“The brilliant effects, strong female leads and fun, adventurous story make this a film we know audiences are going to love,” said Mark Ward, chief acquisitions officer at RLJE Films.

Critics embraced the film after it debuted at SXSW, with Variety‘s Peter Debruge writing, “Indigenous director Nyla Innuksuk imagines an alien-invasion thriller that works on multiple levels, empowering the community in which she made it.”

He went on to compare the film to geek favorite “Attack the Block,” adding that it “…seems bound to find a cult following, but it will mean the most to Inuit audiences, for whom standing up to invaders is more than just another genre-movie cliché.”

Set in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, a sleepy hamlet nestled in the mountains of Baffin Island in the Arctic Ocean, “Slash/Back” opens as the village wakes up to a typical summer day. But for Maika and her ragtag friends, things change after they discover an alien invasion threatening their hometown. Using makeshift weapons and their horror movie knowledge, they battle back against the intruders.

“It was a dream to make ‘Slash/Back’ alongside my talented teenage cast in one of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet and I am thrilled to be partnering with RLJE Films/Shudder to bring our quirky alien movie to a wider audience,” said Innuksuk. “We look forward to working with our new friends at RLJE Films/Shudder, fellow genre nerds who we feel really appreciate ‘Slash/Back’ and all its heartfelt horror love.”

Innuksuk produced “Slash/Back” along with Daniel Bekerman, Alex Ordanis, and Chris Yurkovich of Good Question Media, as well as Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok MacDonald, and Ethan Lazar. Mark Ward and Betsy Rodgers from RLJE Films negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.