EXCLUSIVE: Smith Global Media has acquired worldwide rights to Valley of Bones, a Western crime thriller directed by Dan Glaser and starring Autumn Reeser, Steven Molony and Rhys Coiro. The newbie distributor run by Harry Smith plans a September theatrical release.

Set in North Dakota’s oil-rich Badlands, the pic revolves around Anna (Reeser), a paleontologist and single mother, and McCoy (Molony), a meth-addicted oil worker. They form an unlikely bond as both struggle to make amends for their criminal pasts, and their hopes lay in the form of a monumental T. rex fossil, a discovery potentially worth millions. Molony, Alexandra Billings, Bill Smitrovich and Mark Margolis co-star.

Bad Medicine Films produced, with Jon Wanzek and Brenda Robinson executive producers. Glaser, Molony and Richard Lewis wrote the screenplay based on a story by Wanzek.

“The intensity that defines and drives every act of this film truly immerses audiences in the story, playing to audiences that can collectively experience the immersive story play out and the chilling sensation that Valley of Bones delivers,” said Smith. “With its strong commercial appeal, Valley of Bones is a welcome addition to the Smith Global Media release slate.”

The deal comes as Smith Global Media ramps up its distribution slate, having just landed the animated films Gnome Alone and Charming. It also recently inked an output deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The plan is to release 10-12 films domestically in the next 18 months, aiming mostly at 300-600 screens nationwide and a few larger releases of 1,500-plus screens for four-quadrant films and awards contenders. Its first release was Believe, a faith-based pic that bowed in December.

Smith Global Media’s head of legal and business affairs Hillary Arlene Jones negotiated the Valley of Bones acquisition with Robinson on behalf of the filmmakers.