Roadside Attractions is teaming with 30WEST on the theatrical release of Beast, Michael Pearce’s psychological drama that bowed to buzz at this fall’s Toronto Film Festival. A spring 2018 release is now in the works after the pic makes its U.S. premiere in the Spotlight section at Sundance.
Beast was one of several splashy rights acquisitions at the fest by 30WEST, the new outfit co-founded by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green. The feature length debut of writer-director Pearce, it stars Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn and Geraldine James and centers on a small island community where a troubled young woman falls for a mysterious outsider who empowers her to escape from her oppressive family. When he comes under suspicion for a series of brutal murders, she defends him at all costs and learns what she is capable of.
30West is also co-distributing with NEON the awards-season pic I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie that bows December 8. Roadside has been teaming on co-distribution deals of late, including with Amazon on the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea.
“Beast has been heralded as one of the indie success stories from the Toronto Film Festival,” said Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff today. “It is an extraordinary and deservedly acclaimed directorial debut from Michael Pearce, who delivers a taut, tense, and stirring thriller with a wonderfully complex heroine at the film’s core. Jessie Buckley gives a magnificent and memorable performance and we are thrilled to partner with the team at 30WEST as we help bring this psychosexual drama to audiences throughout the country.”
Beast is a Film4 and BFI presentation of an Agile Films and Stray Bear Films Production. The film was produced by Stray Bear Films’ Ivana MacKinnon and Lauren Dark, and Kristian Brodie for Agile Films. Film4’s Sam Lavender, BFI’s Natascha Wharton, Agile Films’ Myles Payne and David Staniland, and David Kosse all serve as executive producers on the feature. Beast was developed and funded by Film4 and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).
The deal was negotiated by 30WEST and Cohen and d’Arbeloff on behalf of Roadside.