Toronto: Psychological Thriller 'Beast' Sells to Upstart 30WEST

Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

The deal marks the third struck at the festival by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green's company, which also inked 'I, Tonya' and 'Super Size Me: Holy Chicken!'

Marking its third deal of this year's Toronto International Film Festival, upstart 30WEST has acquired North American distribution rights to Michael Pearce’s Beast.

Starring Jessie Buckley (Taboo, War and Peace), Johnny Flynn (Clouds of Sils Maria, Song One) and Geraldine James (45 Years, Calendar Girls), the film made its world premiere on Saturday at the fest.

Unlike the other two deals inked by 30WEST on the ground in Toronto (I, Tonya and Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!), Beast does not yet have a domestic distribution partner in place. I, Tonya will be released by Neon, and Super Size Me 2 will be released by YouTube Red.

Written and directed by Pearce, Beast takes place in 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.

Protagonist Pictures repped the sale to 30WEST and is handling international territories as well.

Beast is a Film4 and BFI presentation of an Agile Films and Stray Bear Films Production and was produced by Stray Bear Films’ Ivana MacKinnon and Lauren Dark as well as Agile Films' Kristian Brodie. Film4’s Sam Lavender, the BFI’s Natascha Wharton, Agile Films’ Myles Payne and David Staniland and David Kosse executive produced. Beast was developed and funded by Film4 and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).

“The whole Protagonist team is delighted to have 30WEST take the North American reins of Pearce’s powerful directorial debut," said Protagonist CEO Dave Bishop. "Beast is an exquisite feature film and we look forward to audiences enjoying it as much as they have here in Toronto.”

Vanessa Saal negotiated on behalf of Protagonist.

30WEST was founded by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green in April, with Dan Steinman subsequently joining as a partner.