Long-Considered Lost Film, Now Fully Restored
And Set For US Theatrical Re-Release
AUSTIN, TX – Thursday, July 19th, 2012 – Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today their acquisition of North American rights to classic Australian thriller Wake In Fright. Alongside Mad Max and Walkabout, Wake In Fright is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Directed by Ted Kotcheff (Rambo: First Blood, North Dallas Forty), the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher’s descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Virtually unseen in the United States and renowned in its home country after years of neglect, Wake In Fright is ripe for rediscovery and returns to cinemas beginning with engagements at Film Forum in New York City on October 5th, The NuArt in Los Angeles on October 19th and expanding to additional markets before a home video and VOD release in Q1 of 2013.
Wake In Fright originally made its debut at Cannes in 1971, where it earned a Palme D’Or nomination. The film made its return to the festival in 2009 courtesy of guest-curator Martin Scorsese, following the completion of a comprehensive restoration. It was there where Wake In Fright held the honor of being one of two films to have been shown twice in the history of the festival. The film is lauded for its stark and uncompromising vision by champions such as Roger Ebert who said Wake In Fright is “powerful, genuinely shocking and rather amazing,” and celebrated musician/songwriter/screenwriter Nick Cave, who said the film is “the best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence.”
Believed to be lost for many years, Wake In Fright was restored after an exhaustive decade-long search for original film elements. Fortuitously, the negative was unearthed in Pittsburgh, PA, in canisters marked for destruction just one week away from its impending incineration. The materials were then restored frame-by-frame at Sydney’s AtLab Deluxe with the aid of the National Film and Sound Archives of Australia.
“Kotcheff’s stunning and dreadfully creepy film inspired a generation of accomplished Aussie filmmakers,” says Drafthouse Films Acquisition Director Evan Husney, “and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be the outfit that unleashes this masterwork to movie-lovers everywhere. I say without hesitation that this film is truly one of our all-time favorites.”
The deal was negotiated by Drafthouse CEO Tim League, Evan Husney and James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse Films and Emily Stothers and Nick Batzias of Madman Entertainment.
Wake In Fright is available for festival and museum bookings now until September. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For theatrical bookings contact Michael Tuckman at email@example.com.
For Alamo Drafthouse & Drafthouse Films Media Requests:
CONTACT: Brandy Fons
PHONE: (310) 809-8882
About WAKE IN FRIGHT
Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left... Believed lost for many years, Wake in Fright has been painstakingly restored by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form.
About Drafthouse Films
Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse, debuted in 2010 with the theatrical
release of FOUR LIONS and was named one of Time Magazine's "Top 10 Films Of The Year."
Drafthouse Films is dedicated to scouring the globe in search of visionary, provocative and diverse features to integrate into the ever-growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment lifestyle brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: Mondo, the collectible art boutique; Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US; and the pop culture website Badass Digest. Drafthouse Films will distribute films theatrically and through home video, VOD and direct to consumer sales. The 2012 release slate includes Michael R. Roskam's debut feature film and Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award-nominee BULLHEAD, Mikkel Nørgaard's internationally acclaimed comedy KLOWN, and SXSW '11 favorite THE FP which Moviefone calls, "a rare ready-made cult hit." Together with producing partners Magnolia Pictures and Timpson Films, Drafthouse Films is also currently in production on the much-anticipated THE ABC's OF DEATH -- an anthology film featuring segments by 26 different directors that Fangoria calls, "a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world