This is huge: the very first film for which Drafthouse Films has nabbed worldwide rights is Karyn Kusama's incredible SXSW Midnight thriller The Invitation. Appearing on multiple "Best of SXSW" lists, the film follows a man who attends a dinner party and becomes increasingly suspicious of his ex-wife and her new husband having made some critically poor lifestyle decisions – namely, the disturbing possibility that they've gone ahead and joined a cult.
Called "unnerving" (Variety), "searing" (Movies.com) and "fantastic" (Film School Rejects) the film is a masterfully slow burning achievement from Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer's Body) and her exemplary cast including Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Tammy Blanchard (Into the Woods), Michiel Huisman and John Carroll Lynch (Zodiac). And it marks the first time that Drafthouse Films has secured theatrical rights beyond North America, making it a true coup for the company across the board.
Read the full release below, and watch for The Invitation to arrive in 2016.
Drafthouse Films Lands Karyn Kusama’s
SXSW Midnight Hit THE INVITATION
Beating out several other distributors, Drafthouse Films has secured worldwide rights to Karyn Kusama’s acclaimed thriller The Invitation, which opened the Midnight section of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. The film has been well received by critics and audiences alike, landing on several “Best of SXSW” lists.
For Kusama, who first made her mark with Girlfight, the film represents a return to her independent roots. It is written and produced by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi, produced by Martha Griffin along with Nick Spicer of XYZ Films, and financed by Gamechanger Films in association with Lege Artis, with Mynette Louie overseeing for Gamechanger and Anthony Mancilla overseeing for Lege Artis.
The Invitation stars Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) as a haunted man attending a dinner party at the house he once called home, who becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harboring an insidious agenda. Tammy Blanchard (Into The Woods), Michiel Huisman ("Game Of Thrones"), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle Of Nowhere) and John Carroll Lynch ("American Horror Story") also star.
“The Invitation has remained under our skin since we first saw it and we’re honored that we’ll be able to share with audiences everywhere,” said Drafthouse COO James Emanuel Shapiro. “Karyn, Phil and Matt have crafted one of the best mysteries we’ve ever seen.”
“I know I speak for our whole team when I say that we could not be more thrilled to be working with Drafthouse Films for the release of The Invitation. Drafthouse is a one-of-a-kind label and an influential arbiter of taste. We love what they do. I’m excited by their passionate enthusiasm for the film and truly honored to be working with them,” said Kusama.
The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners and Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films on behalf of the filmmakers, and James Emanuel Shapiro from Drafthouse Films.