EXCLUSIVE: XYZ Films and General Film Corporation has sold North American rights of the Toronto Film Festival film The Dead Lands to Magnet Releasing. The New Zealand-set action-thriller was directed by Toa Fraser, scripted by Glenn Standring and produced by Matthew Metcalfe and Standring. James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Xavier Horan, George Henare and Rena Owen star. Magnolia’s Magnet will release in theaters next year and the deal was brokered by Magnet’s Peter Van Steemburg and XYZ’s Nate Bolotin.

Pic was shot in Auckland and the central North Island of New Zealand. Rolleston stars as a Maori chieftain’s teenage son who must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by the band of villains, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious “Warrior,” a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years.

“It’s always exciting to see something fresh in the action genre, and The Dead Lands delivers in spades,” said Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles. XYZ came to the fest with Kevin Smith’s Tusk, Spring, and Electric Boogaloo.