EXCLUSIVE: Screen Media has acquired U.S. distribution rights to American Animal, which premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. Written, directed and starring Matt D’Elia, the film is an existential comedy focusing on an eccentric and terminally ill young man who descends into madness when he finds out his best friend and roommate is leaving in the morning to take a new job. D’Elia, an NYU film program grad, shot the film on a microbudget in his downtown L.A. apartment. Brendan Fletcher plays his roommate, and Mircea Monroe and Angela Sarafyan also star.

American Animal is one of the more striking directorial debuts of 2011 and we are very excited to be working with Matt to bring it to audiences across the U.S.,” said Screen Media president Suzanne Blech. The film will be released in March and the deal was made by Traction Media.