Drafthouse Films‘ Evan Husney is stepping down from his post as Creative Director after nearly three years at the upstart distribution label. New York-based Husney, 27, will be shifting focus to producing and is working with directors Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun) and Todd Rohal (The Catechism Cataclysm) on their next features. Husney helped develop the specialty distro arm of Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas from the ground up when company founder Tim League tapped him to run creative ops in 2011. Shortly thereafter Drafthouse Films scored an Academy Award nomination with one of its first acquisitions, director Michaël R. Roskam’s Belgian drama Bullhead, which vied for Best Foreign Film at the 2012 Oscars. Last year Husney and the Drafthouse team mounted their second Oscar campaign in three years for Best Documentary nominee The Act of Killing, director Josh Oppenheimer’s critically-acclaimed documentary about Indonesian death squad leaders.
Related: Drafthouse Films Embracing Risks With Genocide Doc ‘Act Of Killing’
Since its inception the label has acquired a variety of specialty releases spanning genre, action, drama, comedy, foreign, and repertory titles, plucking often-challenging fare from the lineups of Austin’s Fantastic Fest (which League founded) and SXSW. “When [Drafthouse Films] started we wanted to acquire movies we loved and films we thought are great, utilize our backgrounds as programmers and approach distribution with a curatorial quality – a real cinephiles for cinephiles label,” Husney told me. Read More »
Drafthouse Films has acquired docu The Overnighters, about a small North Dakota town overrun by workers during a local oil boom and the pastor who opens his arms to the “overnighters” to mounting controversy. Director Jesse Moss filmed … Read More »
Here’s the official trailer for Drafthouse Films‘ latest docu acquisition The Final Member, about an American, an aging Icelander, and the proprietor of the only “phallological museum” in the world, whose lives intertwine in a quest for immortality as one man attempts to complete his penis exhibit with … Read More »
Drafthouse Films has picked up North American rights to 20,000 Days On Earth, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s docu-drama film centered around musician Nick Cave. The Bad Seed stars in the film which … Read More »
The total for the Oscar-nominated documentary is three times bigger than the audience it has reached on YouTube, BitTorrent says in a blog post. The firm launched its bundle on December 31, in collaboration with … Read More »
Drafthouse Films has acquired U.S. rights to Michel Gondry‘s latest feature film Mood Indigo, an adaptation of the Boris Vian novel that stars Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris. A platform release is planned for this year. The love … Read More »
Specialty distributor Drafthouse Films opened shop in 2010 and scored a surprise Oscar nomination with its third release, the Belgian Best Foreign Pic contender Bullhead. Now Drafthouse is back in the awards game with Joshua Oppenheimer’s startling Indonesian genocide documentary The Act Of Killing, a provocative pic backed by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris that has already racked up dozens of awards and made the Oscar documentary shortlist in a notably competitive year for nonfiction. Oppenheimer’s film profiles the celebrated death squad leaders responsible for mass murders in 1960s Indonesia as they flamboyantly re-stage their crimes for the camera in Hollywood-style re-enactments — and, in one killer’s case, start to grasp the severity of their actions. The film’s brutal themes required such a careful touch that Drafthouse’s considered awards approach began the moment they won a hard-fought bidding war for the film. But how do you market a film with protagonists like these and win over traditional-minded Academy voters with such a non-traditional message?
Related: Specialty B.O.: ‘Act Of Killing’ Is Year’s Top Documentary Debut
Oppenheimer’s film leaves the moralizing to the audience, but it has not for nothing earned a rep as one of the more unsettling Oscar hopefuls in recent memory. Read More »
Drafthouse Films has acquired North American rights to Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math’s penis-themed documentary The Final Member, adding to its lineup of boundary-pushing films (Bullhead, The Act … Read More »
Drafthouse Films reached back into the vaults to snap up rights to the 1981 revenge thriller Ms. 45, the second film directed by Abel Ferrara after his 1979 horror pic The Driller Killer. … Read More »
Drafthouse Films has picked up North American rights to Hitoshi Matsumoto’s R100, which had its world premiere at the Midnight Madness section of this month’s Toronto Film Festival. The plan is for a VOD/digital and theatrical release next … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Joshua Oppenheimer’s award-winning The Act of Killing garnered wide acclaim and the year’s best nonfiction debut this summer. But the filmmakers believe the docu, in which ex-death squad leaders of the 1965-1966 Indonesian genocide reenact their own atrocities for the camera, can’t have a traditional release in the country where said mass murderers are still celebrated as national heroes. So the film’s most significant release will come in September when Drafthouse Films, VICE, and VHX open the pic in Indonesia – for free.
Related: ‘The Act Of Killing’ Intrigues As It Nears UK, U.S. Release: Video
The 1965 genocide that killed an estimated 500K to 1 million accused leftists, intellectuals, and ethnic Chinese is rarely talked about in the country and isn’t taught in history books. It’s so sensitive within Indonesia that the 60+ Indonesian crew members on The Act Of Killing are credited as “Anonymous” for fear of retribution. Filmmakers fear that, if submitted to the government-run film board, the docu would likely be banned and subsequent screenings would invite violent attacks by paramilitary groups. Instead, Drafthouse, VICE, Signe Byrge Sørensen’s Final Cut for Real ApS, and VHX will release Act of Killing within Indonesia on September 30 via www.actofkilling.com, where local viewers can download the 159-minute directors cut for free from a site exclusively geo-blocked for Indonesia. Read More »
Drafthouse Films has acquired North American rights to Japanese director Sion Sono‘s (Suicide Club, Love Exposure) Why Don’t You Play In Hell? Described by Sono as “an action film about the love of 35mm,” and … Read More »
Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act Of Killing, about a group of Indonesian men who revisit and re-enact assassinations they committed after the military coup of 1965, made waves at both Telluride and Toronto in 2012. Earlier this … Read More »
Drafthouse Films has added another curio to their eclectic slate. They’ve unearthed 1979′s The Visitor, a phantasmagorical sci-fi oddity starring Lance Henriksen, Mel Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Franco Nero, and iconic film directors John … Read More »
Drafthouse Films has picked up North American rights in a deal with Films We Like to the sci-fi pic The Congress which opened the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar last month at Cannes. Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) directs the … Read More »
Borgman was the first Dutch film in the Cannes Film Festival‘s competition lineup in almost 40 years when the Dutch thriller from director Alex van Warmerdam hit the Croisette earlier this month. Now Drafthouse Films has picked up North American rights in a deal with Fortissimo Films, with a U.S. theatrical and VOD/digital release planned for 2014. Films We Like will handle Canadian distribution.
Borgman is an allegorical tale exploring the nature of evil in unexpected places. A vagrant enters the lives of a typical but arrogant upper-class family, igniting a descent from darkly comic dream to maddening psychological nightmare. Annet Malherbe and Eva van de Wijdeven, two regulars in van Warmerdam’s films, stars along with Jan Bijvoet. Graniet Film (Netherlands) produced.
“Maybe once a year, I am deluged after a premiere with texts and emails to the effect of ‘this is such a Drafthouse movie,’” says Drafthouse Films founder and CEO Tim League, “Its strange, disturbing, hysterical and utterly unique. Borgman is the quintessential Drafthouse film of Cannes. We can’t wait to share it with audiences in North America.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As this year’s sales market came to a close at Cannes, Drafthouse Films acquired North American rights to German drama Nothing Bad Can Happen ahead of its premiere today in the Un … Read More »
Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse, has acquired North American rights to original horror film A Field In England. It’s the fourth feature from writer/director Ben Wheatley whose credits include the tour-de-force thriller Kill List, the 2012 Cannes selection Sightseers and a segment in The ABCs Of Death. Billed as “a psychedelic trip into magic and madness,” A Field In England follows a group of English Civil War soldiers in the 17th century who are captured by an alchemist and led into a vast mushroom field, where they fall victim to violent and nightmarish forces. Reece Shearsmith (The League Of Gentlemen), and Michael Smiley (Kill List) star. Julian Barrett (The Mighty Boosh) is also featured in the film. A theatrical and VOD release is planned for 2013. Read More »