Sundance: IFC Films Picks Up U.S. Rights to 'Stanford Prison Experiment'

Courtesy of Sundance International Film Festival
'The Stanford Prison Experiment'

The film stars Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano.

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment.

The film, which was written by Tim Talbott, stars Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Nick Braun, Thomas Mann, Ki Hong Lee, James Wolk, James Frecheville and Moises Arias.

The film is based on the real-life research of Dr. Zimbardo, who in the summer of 1971 launched a study on the psychology of imprisonment in which 18 male undergraduates are randomly assigned the role of either guard or prisoner. The test subjects rapidly begin to embody their roles: the guards becoming power hungry and sadistic, while the prisoners plot a reprisal to the degradation they suffer. As Zimbardo and his team monitor the escalating conflict, they begin to question their own role in the experiment.

The film made its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. IFC Films will open the film in theaters later this year.

Stanford Prison Experiment was produced by Abandon Features, Sandbar Pictures’ Lizzie Friedman and Greg Little, Coup d’État Films’ Brent Emery, Lauren Bratman. Brian Geraghty executive produced. Abandon Features, Sandbar Pictures and Vineyard Point Productions financed.

"Alvarez has created a riveting drama with an extraordinary cast of both established and breakthrough actors working at the top of their game,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films.

The deal was negotiated by Sundance Selects/IFC Films' Arianna Bocco and UTA Independent Film Group.