IFC Midnight has acquired US rights to Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral, which had its world premiere at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.

The film, on which Cronenberg feature debut as director and writer, stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith and Malcolm McDowell and was produced by Niv Fichman of RhombusMedia. It follows the story of an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to rabid fans.

Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “Antiviral is a stunningly smart debut from Brandon Cronenberg, who is greatly aided by his strong stars Caleb Landry Jones and Sarah Gadon, as well as Karim Hussain’s cinematography. The film manages to skewer our culture’s obsession with celebrity while also delivering more than a fair share of chills and gruesome body horror.”

Cronenberg commented: “I’m so thrilled that IFC picked up Antiviral…. This is my first film so it’s kind of surreal to be listed in their roster amongst the coolest filmmakers in the world.”

The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of acquisitions and productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with Gregory Chambet of TF1 International acting on behalf of the filmmakers.

The film was produced by Rhombus Media with the participation of Telefilm Canada and the OMDC. It will be released in Canada by Alliance Films and in the UK by Alliance subsidiary Momentum Pictures.