Magnet nabs 'Monsters'

2:33 PM PST 03/16/2010 by Gregg Kilday, AP

Gareth Edwards pic is a sci-fi tale about alien life forms

Within hours after "Monsters" premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, Magnet Releasing scooped up distribution rights for the U.S. and Mexico.

Gareth Edwards' first feature, a sci-fi tale about alien life forms who have infected a quarantined zone in Mexico, was shot using actors like Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able working alongside local people they met during a road trip through Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S.

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Vertigo Films' Allan Niblo and James Richardson produced the movie, which bowed Saturday at midnight in the SX Fantastic section of the fest, programmed by Fantastic Fest's Tim League.

The deal was brokered by Magnolia svp Tom Quinn and Protagonist Pictures CEO Ben Roberts, who is handling worldwide sales.

"We were blown away by 'Monsters,' " Quinn said. "Gareth Edwards is an extraordinary talent and we're thrilled to bring his vision to American audiences."

Edwards, who wrote, shot and directed "Monsters," previously created BAFTA Award-winning and Emmy nominated visual effects and also directed "Attila the Hun" for the BBC, creating all of its 250 visual effects himself.

Prior to the fest, Magnet picked up another SXSW premiere, Neil Marshall's "Centurion."
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