Toronto-based Cinemavault Releasing has acquired worldwide rights outside Canada to Quebecois psychological thriller Savage Messiah which opened in Quebec on April 26 through Christal Films and looks set to gross over $1m in its first month.

The film stars Polly Walker and Luc Picard and is the directorial debut of Mario Azzopardi, whose TV credits include episodes of Total Recall 2070, Stargate SG-1, F/X: The Series, Robocop, The Outer Limits, Highlander and Poltergeist: The Legacy. It was produced by Bernard Zukerman and executive produced by Michael Prupas and Jamie Brown of Muse Entertainment from whom Cinemavault acquired it.

The film is the true story of cult leader Roch Theriault (played by Picard) who presides over a bizarre commune which includes his eight wives and 26 children. Walker plays the social worker who fights to expose Theriault for his abusive cult activities.

Independent film consultant Lars Bjorck brought the project to Cinemavault's attention and will work in Cannes with Cinemavault's CEO Nick Stiliadis and vice president of international sales Amy Beecroft in selling it.