The New York distributor, tipped by many to be a significant player at the festival, has pulled off the first major on-site deal in Toronto, paying a low seven-figure advance and committing to a significant North American theatrical release for the Tom Hardy psychodrama.

IM Global fully financed Locke through its acclaim label and hosted with CAA a packed private buyer screening on Friday, with more planned this weekend in what will doubtless spur further international sales.

The film earned rave reviews in Venice but does not screen as an official selection in Toronto. Steven Knight directed the story of a man struggling to save his personal and professional life set over the course of a car ride.

Paul Webster and Guy Heeley of Shoebox Productions produced the film. A24 negotiated the deal with CAA and IM Global.

“This film is an extraordinary achievement in storytelling,” said the A24 team. “Steven Knight has built a singular, nail-biting experience around Tom Hardy’s remarkable performance.”

“A24 is exactly the right kind of ballsy, innovative distributor that an astonishing film like Locke needs,” said IM Global CEO Stuart Ford. “We are all delighted to be in business with the highly impressive A24 team whose passion and vision for the film gave them a leading edge on everyone else.”