U.K. Distributor Icon Inks Four High-Profile Deals

"It Follows"
"It Follows"
 Courtesy of Festival de Cannes

LONDON – Icon Film Distribution, which returned to the U.K. arena this year, buoyed by backing from Jerome Booth's private investment group New Sparta, exercised its buying muscles, snapping up U.K. rights to four titles during the Marche du Film in Cannes.

The freshly invigorated banner emerged clutching British rights to a quartet of titles, including writer-director J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, starring Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty).

Currently in postproduction, Violent Year is produced by Before The Doors’ Neal Dodson and Washington Square Films’ Anna Gerb, along with Chandor.

It is co-financed by Participant Media and Image Nation Abu Dhabi and is being sold internationally by Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment.

The British distributor, buoyed by the U.K. rollout of Postman Pat: The Movie, which delivered $4 million (£2.4 million) from its first 10 days on release here, also bought Equals, directed by the Sundance prize-winner Drake Doremus, which stars Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Kristen Stewart (Twilight franchise). 

Written by Nathan Parker (Moon) and produced by Ridley Scott, Chip Diggs, Steven M. Rales, Ann Ruark, Michael Schaefer and Jay Stern, the film is being sold internationally by David Garrett’s Mister Smith.

Also bought for the company's distribution slate was The Legend of Barney Thomson, directed by and starring Robert Carlyle (28 Weeks Later) alongside Ray Winstone (Noah) and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks). 

Written by Richard Cowan and Colin McLaren, the film is being produced by John G. Lenic, Kaleena Kiff and Brian Coffey and is being hawked internationally by Kirk D’Amico’s Myriad Pictures.

In his directorial debut, Carlyle plays the eponymous Glaswegian barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences as he tries to cover his crimes.

And Icon also bought It Follows, one of this year’s stand-out films in Cannes following its Critics’ Week debut. It is directed by David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover) and stars Maika Monroe (The Bling Ring).

U.K .rights were acquired from Ryan Kampe’s Visit Films.

Icon Film Distribution CEO Ian Dawson said: "We feel incredibly fortunate to be working with such quality filmmakers and great talent -- both in front of and behind the camera. The team here at Icon Film Distribution [is] fired up and set to bring our films to the widest possible audience."

Icon re-launched last autumn with Dawson and executive chairman and COO Norman Humphrey leading the company.

IFD's first theatrical release slate under its new incarnation includes Don Cheadle's directorial debut, Kill The Trumpet Player, about jazz legend Miles Davis.

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