IFC MIDNIGHT DEVOURS NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS FOR WELSH-LANGUAGE REVENGE HORROR “THE FEAST”
NEW YORK, NY (April 29, 2021) – IFC Midnight announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to the Welsh-language supernatural revenge horror The Feast, directed by BAFTA-winning television director Lee Haven Jones in his feature debut. IFC Midnight will release the film Thanksgiving 2021.
Directed by Jones and written and produced by Roger Williams, The Feast stars Annes Elwy, Nia Roberts, and Julian Lewis Jones alongside Sion Alun Davies, Steffan Cennydd, Rhodri Meilir, and Lisa Palfrey. The Feast was produced through Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme and was funded by S4C, Ffilm Cymru Wales, BFI (using funds from the National Lottery) and Fields Park. The film was produced in association with Melville Media Limited with support from Great Point Media.
Rooted in the potent mythical fables of Wales, The Feast unfolds over the course of a single evening as a wealthy family gathers at their lavish home in the Welsh mountains for a dinner party, hosting a local businessman and neighbouring farmer to broker a business deal to mine the surrounding countryside. When a mysterious young woman arrives to be their waitress for the evening, the family’s beliefs and values are challenged as her quiet yet disturbing presence begins to unravel their lives – slowly, deliberately, and with the most terrifying of consequences. A slow burn meditation on history and tradition, greed and responsibility, identity and difference, The Feast is a contemporary morality tale that questions who is truly meant to inherit the earth, permeated with a mounting sense of dread that leads to a horrifying, blood-soaked conclusion.
Filmed in the Welsh language, The Feast made its world premiere as a Midnighters entry at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, with Jones’ meticulous composition and Annes Elwy’s eerie central performance catching the attention of U.S. and international critics alike. In a review for Screen International, Nikki Baughan praised her lead performance as “beguiling”, writing, “Annes Elwy is quietly mesmerizing…in a role which utilizes little dialogue, Elwy plums Cadi’s surprising depths with a quiet intensity”. Reviewing for Variety, Jessica Kiang wrote, “The chilly control of Jones’ filmmaking, enhanced by the pristine, deadened soundscape and Samuel Sim’s intriguing, atmospheric score, keeps our attention squirming on the hook,” adding, “the direction is so confident and the craft so impeccable that The Feast, though built from few ingredients, fills you up like a three-course meal”.
Arianna Bocco President of IFC Films, said, “It’s hard to shake the sense of fear and apprehension that you feel while watching The Feast, a terrifying and twisted fable that will keep you on the very edge of your seat until the shocking, grand guignol-worthy finale. We’re so excited to work with Lee on his feature debut and can’t wait to share The Feast with horror audiences everywhere.”
Writer and Producer Roger Williams added, “I’m thrilled IFC Midnight will be serving up The Feast in the USA and Canada. I’m certain audiences across North America will be entertained and horrified in equal measure by our unique Welsh film which thanks to IFC Midnight will now find the widest audience possible.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films President Arianna Bocco and Director of Acquisitions Aijah Keith with Bankside Films representing the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC MIDNIGHT
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on digital and cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes.
Upcoming releases include Neill Blomkamp’s DEMONIC and Hannah Bergholm’s debut body-horror HATCHING. Some of the company’s successes have included Andy Nyman’s critical darling GHOST STORIES, André Øvredal’s box-office success THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, Peter Strickland’s modern giallo BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO, Natalie Erika James’ RELIC, SWALLOW from Carlo Mirabella Davis and the award-winning and cultural phenomenon THE BABADOOK. IFC Midnight is a sister label to IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
ABOUT FFILM CYMRU WALES
Ffilm Cymru Wales is the development agency for Welsh film. We are dedicated to advancing and sustaining a strong film industry for Wales; one that we can all be proud to call our own. We do this by providing funding and training to emerging and established Welsh filmmakers, offering exciting cinematic experiences to audiences across Wales, engaging people of all ages and abilities in creative learning, and developing new skills and career paths for people through a range of training programmes. Recent credits include Dream Horse, Eternal Beauty, Six Minutes to Midnight, Censor, Ray & Liz, I Am Not a Witch andEthel & Ernest.
ABOUT BANKSIDE FILMS
Founded in London in 2007, Bankside Films is a leading international sales company providing worldwide distribution, executive producing and financing services to independent producers globally. The company also manages an in-house development and production slate, originating its own projects as well as partnering with filmmakers to commission and develop new material. Bankside Films also enjoys a close relationship with its sister company, Head Gear Films, a leading financier of global content whilst maintaining relationships with a broad range of international financiers. The company is driven by a passion for storytelling which challenges the status quo.
Bankside Films prides itself on working with unique and distinctive cinematic voices capable of delivering exciting new stories for worldwide audiences. Emerging filmmakers are intrinsic to the company’s ethos and we continue to champion them whilst remaining a key partner for more established directors and producers.
Recent successes include BELLE by Amma Asante, sold globally to Searchlight Pictures, CARGO by Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling, sold globally to Netflix, Sundance title THE HOLE IN THE GROUND by first time director Lee Cronin, which has been acquired by A24 in the US, ORDINARY LOVE by Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa, sold internationally to Focus Features and domestically to Bleecker Street, IN FABRIC by Peter Strickland, sold domestically to A24, ETERNAL BEAUTY written and directed by Craig Roberts and starring Sally Hawkins, WOLF written and directed by Nathalie Biancheri and starring George McKay and Lily Rose Depp which sold to Focus Features globally and YOU WON’T BE ALONE, written and directed by Goran Stolevski which also sold to Focus Features Globally.
In the documentary space, the company is drawn to broad appeal, human stories which can perform in the traditional theatrical space as well as on worldwide streaming services. Our approach to selling documentaries mirror that of fictional features and our relationships with buyers of documentary films are second to none.
ABOUT THE BFI
The BFI Film Fund invests around £30 million of National Lottery funding a year into developing and supporting filmmakers with diverse, bold and distinctive projects, that have a cultural relevance or progressive ideas, and which reflect people from different backgrounds, as well as a range of activities to increase the opportunities for audiences to enjoy them.
Recent features supported include seven-times BAFTA nominee and multi BAFTA-winning Rocks directed by Sarah Gavron starring EE BAFTA Rising Star Award winner Bukky Bakray, Ammonite directed by Francis Lee starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and Saint Maud directed by BAFTA nominee Rose Glass featuring EE BAFTA Rising Star nominee Morfydd Clark. Upcoming releases include Aleem Khan’s feature debut After Love and Harry MacQueen’s second feature Supernova, starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci. Films currently in post include Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir – Part Two, her follow up to 2019’s BIFA-nominated release, and ear for eye, the second feature from BAFTA-winning director debbie tucker green.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, BFI funds across features and talent development are open and are processing applications and awarding funds as quickly as possible.
The BFI is a cultural charity, and the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. Our mission is to:
Support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
Grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
Offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals – delivered online and in venue
Use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
Work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.
The BFI is the distributor of National Lottery funds for film.
The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.
ABOUT FIELDS PARK
Fields Park have over 30 years’ experience in the TV, Film and Media scene in both the UK and Ireland, helping to fund and produce many productions as well as founding and advising media businesses of all forms including Optimum Releasing (now Studiocanal UK), Coco Content (Ireland’s leading independent television producer), and Dragon Digital (award-winning post-production house).
From their base in South Wales, Fields Park have always championed Welsh film and TV projects, with past credits including Richard Ayoade’s SUBMARINE, Craig Roberts’ JUST JIM, Euro Lyn’s THE LIBRARY SUICIDES/Y LLYFRGELL, Ben Parker’s THE CHAMBER and Jon Jones’ LAST SUMMER, as well as supporting the Beacons Short Film and Cinematic initiatives alongside Ffilm Cymru Wales and the BFI, centring Welsh talent and amplifying underrepresented voices. The scope of their current slate ranges from their support of the local media in Wales and the UK right through to Hollywood, collaborating with Oscar-winning filmmakers and giants of the global entertainment industry with recent credits including ROSE: A LOVE STORY, NUCLEAR, THE TOLL, THE COMPLEX, Craig Roberts’ ETERNAL BEAUTY and Billie Piper’s RARE BEASTS.