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SXSW: IFC Midnight Acquires North American Rights to 'Kill List'

The SXFantastic programmer sparked interest after its first screening Saturday at midnight.

Kill List
"Kill List"

IFC Midnight has acquired North American rights to Ben Wheatley’s SXFantastic horror entry Kill List.

Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley and MyAnna Buring star in the story of a psychologically damaged ex-soldier who takes on a new assignment as a contract killer and descends into paranoia. The film had its raucous world premiere (complete with beer shotgunning contest) Saturday at midnight at the Alamo Lamar and played again at the Alamo Ritz on Sunday night. Magnolia Pictures was also in the mix in trying to pick up the film.

The WME-repped Wheatley, whose Down Terrace won best feature at the Austin-based Fantastic Fest in 2009 and was released by Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing last year, wrote the script with Amy Jump. Claire Jones and Andy Starke produced; Barry Ryan co-produced for Warp X.

"Our team was blown away by Kill List," said Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring. "It is a relentless, stylish, brilliantly directed journey into darkness that confirms Ben Wheatley as a major director. This is a film that is destined to be discussed for years and we are honored to begin the conversation with audiences across the country."

U.K.-based sales outfit Protagonist Pictures, which sold Gareth Edwards’ SXSW premiere Monsters to Magnet last year, repped the sale on behalf of the filmmakers. Sundance Selects/IFC Films exec Arianna Bocco negotiated for IFC Midnight.

A sister division to Sundance Selects and IFC Films, IFC Midnight also recently picked up The Catechism Cataclysm, which had its world premiere at Sundance in the Park City at Midnight section before screening in Emerging Visions this week at SXSW. The genre label will also release James Gunn’s Super, which is part of the SXSW program, and Tom Six's The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence).

Major activity continues to swirl around SXSW entries 96 Minutes, Weekend and The Divide -- more deals are coming.

The Kill List deal closed out a busy Monday for buyers. Kino Lorber acquired U.S. rights to the doc El Bulli: Cooking in Progress from director Gereon Wetzel for its new theatrical label Alive Mind Cinema Monday morning. The Weinstein Co. acquired rights to Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s documentary Undefeated. And in a unique deal, AT&T and Abramorama partnered Monday on a deal to bring Rodman Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop to theaters and U-verse® TV subscribers.