Alexandre Franchi’s The Wild Hunt is set for US theatrical distribution in May through new distribution outfit Hannover House.
Hannover CEO Eric Parkinson picked up the picture following its US premiere at Slamdance in a deal negotiated with producer’s rep Marie-Claude Poulin of Montreal-based Item 7.
The film, which won the Best Canadian First Feature at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, tells the story of a young man who goes in search of his girlfriend, a participant in a real-life medieval themed role playing game, and finds himself living the part of the knight errant.
The May release will be notable for its eccentric platform approach. The film will open in New York City, Dallas, Minneapolis and north-west Arkansas - the 100th market in the nation according to Parkinson.
The rationale is based on a combination of events seldom seen: a Canadian title picked up for US distribution that enters the US market after the Canadian market. Quebec-based distributor TVA Films, which released the film this past weekend in Montreal and Toronto, has targeted a DVD release date of August 31.
Parkinson told Screen International Hannover is making a good-will gesture by releasing the film in those markets where its leading retail customers are based, thus ensuring a full 90-day theatrical window prior to the DVD release. Blockbuster is based in Dallas, Minneapolis is home to Best Buy and Target, while Arkansas is home to Walmart, which accounts for some 5% of DVD and Blu-Ray sales.
Parkinson said to do otherwise might expose the DVD retailers to cannibalisation by Canadian DVDs of the film.