Network Releasing takes UK rights to five features including Lisa Johnson’s Return

UK distributor Network Releasing has acquired five new titles: The Wild Hunt, Return, Bonsai, Ave and Ausente. Three of the films screened in Cannes.

Lisa Johnson’s Return, starring Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon and John Slattery screened in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. The film charts the difficult societal re-integration of a female soldier after a traumatic tour of duty.

Cristian Jemenez’s Franco-Chilean co-production Bonsai (from Un Certain Regard) is based on Alejandro Zambra’s novel about a writer who turns to a former love affair for creative inspiration. Both films were picked up from Rezo Films.

Konstantin Bojanov’s Franco-Bulgarian drama Ave, which screened in Critics’ Week in Cannes, is the story of a young man hitchhiking to a funeral who meets a 17-year-old runaway looking for her drug-addicted brother. Network inked the deal with Le Pacte.

In a deal with Animist Films, the distributor picked up thriller The Wild Hunt, which picked up the Best Canadian First Feature Film award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009. Directed by Alexandre Franchi, the film follows a medieval re-enactment game which turns to tragedy when a non-player crashes the event to win back his girlfriend.

Argentine drama Ausente (Absent) is the second feature from Michael Berger, which deals with a complicated relationship between a swimming teacher and one of the members his swimming team. Network took the film from Rendez-Vous Pictures.

Managing Director Tim Beddows said: “We are excited about the deals we have made as we continue to grow our film arm and Network Releasing as a home for alternative independent cinema.”