EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. rights to Barney Thomson, the comedic thriller starring and helmed by Robert Carlyle in his feature directorial debut. Carlyle and Emma Thompson lead a cast that includes Ray Winstone and Tom Courtenay. The pic world premiered on the opening night of the Edinburgh Film Festival. Gravitas plans a February 2 VOD bow followed by a theatrical release March 11.

The film, known overseas as The Legend Of Barney Thomson, won the Best Film prize at the BAFTA Scotland Awards last week, with Thompson named Best Actress.

Image (1) gravitasventures__140114165501.jpg for post 664080Penned by Richard Cowan and Colin McLaren based on the first in Douglas Lindsay’s The Barbershop Seven book series, the film centers on Barney Thomson (Carlyle), an awkward, shy Glasgow barber, living a life of desperate mediocrity. His mother (Thompson) offers little encouragement, as she is far too self-absorbed, chain smoking between absurd social outings in her animal print wardrobe. Little does Barney know how his stale and life is about to change when he accidentally enters the dark, grotesque and comically absurd life of a serial killer.

Cowan, Holly Brydson, Brian Coffey, Kaleena Kiff and John G. Lenic produced, and Doug Apatow and Myriad Pictures’ Kirk D’Amico executive produced. The film was financed by Westerkirk Capital, Creative Scotland and Telefilm Canada and is a Canadian/UK co-production. Myriad is handling worldwide sales.

The deal was negotiated by Gravitas founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher and Gersh’s Jay Cohen and D’Amico on behalf of the filmmakers.