IFC Films announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to Robert Connolly’s atmospheric mystery thriller THE DRY, starring Eric Bana in his first Australian film in over a decade. IFC Films will release the Made Up Stories produced film theatrically and on-demand on May 21, 2021.
Based on Jane Harper’s best selling novel, which has sold over a million copies worldwide, THE DRY is directed by Robert Connolly from an adaptation by Connolly and Harry Cripps and stars Eric Bana alongside Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell, John Polson, James Frecheville, Matt Nable, Bebe Bettencourt and Sam Corlett. The film is produced by Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky, and Jodi Matterson of Made Up Stories, alongside Connolly and Bana. Made Up Stories previously produced IFC Films’ critically-acclaimed The Nightingale.
Twenty years after leaving his drought-stricken hometown, Federal Agent Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) returns to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, who allegedly murdered his wife and child before taking his own life. When Falk reluctantly agrees to stay in town and investigate the gruesome crime, he opens up an old wound – the decades-old, unsolved death of a teenage girl. Forced to confront the demons of his past and struggling to prove not only Luke’s innocence but his own, Falk finds himself pitted against the prejudice and pent-up rage of a terrified community.
Released in Australia and New Zealand on New Year’s Day to critical and audience acclaim, THE DRY is already in the top 15 grossing Australian films of all-time with over AU$17 million to date, garnering over $3.5 million in the best ever debut for an Australian-made feature from an independent studio. The Guardian hailed the film as a gripping and polished thriller, calling it, “taut, tough and tense, matching wide-open spaces with uncomfortably close drama”. Variety agreed, noting Connolly’s skill at building “character intrigue, clever plot twists and red herrings to keep viewers guessing” and praising Eric Bana’s lead performance, writing, “Bana anchors the smartly written drama wonderfully well. Imbuing his steely, no-nonsense character with just the right amount of insecurity and introspection, Bana ensures that audiences will be glued to everything Aaron Falk does and says.”
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, said, “We are thrilled to partner once again with Bruna, Steve and the amazing team at Made Up Stories to bring THE DRY to North American audiences. Eric Bana is at his career-best in this riveting true-crime thriller and there is no doubt why THE DRY has been one of the most successful independent films released in Australia. We can’t wait to kick off the summer season with this impressive film.”
“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with IFC on THE DRY, such a renowned champion of cinema and the perfect home for us in North America” said Connolly, “We’re having such an amazing run with the film in Australia and we’re just thrilled to now be sharing this international detective mystery with audiences throughout the world.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films president Arianna Bocco and IFC Films Director of Acquisitions Aijah Keith, with Endeavor Content acting on behalf of the filmmakers. Cornerstone is selling internationally.
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