Australian Films Rack Up Cannes Sales

'Snowtown' finds a U.K. buyer, France's ARP takes 'Sleeping Beauty.'

SYDNEY -- Sales for two new Australian features have been finalized as the Cannes Film Festival edges towards its close.

Critics Week selection, Snowtown, has been picked up for U.K. distribution by Revolver Entertainment after what sales agent Protagonist Pictures calls a "hotly contested bidding war."

It follows a pre-Cannnes sale to French distributor ARP, which is currently releasing the Australian hit Animal Kingdom in France and has also picked up the French rights for Julia Leigh’s In Competition film, Sleeping Beauty.

"The response to Snowtown has been amazing," said Protagonist’s Van Weede. "[director ] Justin Kurzel's incredible talent shines through and we are confident that both Revolver and ARP will do the film justice in every way."

Snowtown is the sometimes disturbing portrait of the relationship between Australia’s worst serial killer John Bunting and his protégée 16-year old Jamie.

Madman Entertainment is releasing the feature in Australia this week, after it premièred at the Adelaide Film Festival earlier this year, where it picked up the audience award.

At the same time Arclight Films horror/sci-fi unit Darclight  has acquired the foreign rights to director Louise Alston’s next film, a horror musical spoof entitled Tracey’s Slumba Party. Darclight will handle territories outside Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Tracey’s Slumba Party will be produced by Michael Robertson and Kent Smith under their new genre banner Croweater Entertainment, a production alliance between Robertson’s Prodigy Movies and Smith’s producer/distributor Kojo Pictures. Darclight will produce with Croweater.

The film centers on a teen girls’ sleepover gone wrong that quickly evolves from “manicures and boy talk to murder and mayhem." Filming is due to take place later this year in South Australia with stars Kate Geck and Mel Sano from the cult punk girl group Toxic Lipstick.

“Darclight are pleased to support this exciting new production team,” says Darclight managing director, Gary Hamilton.

“Both Michael and Kent are experienced producers in the world of low budget, genre-driven films, and their talents in Croweater present a potent combination. We’re looking forward to Tracey’s Slumba Party helping keep Darclight at the forefront of horror films aimed at young audiences worldwide.”