Paramount Pictures has finally announced that it will be releasing Sydney Film Festival competition title Wasted On The Young, directed by Ben C Lucas, in its home market of Australia.

The news has been an open secret since early May when the festival unveiled the contenders for the third Sydney Film Prize.

The slick, chilling high-school drama, one of two Australian films in the competition line-up, impressed festival audiences with its assuredness and receive an honourable mention from the judges.

In the three key roles are Oliver Ackland (The Proposition) and Alex Russell, who play stepbrothers with very different moral codes, and Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

Without making an issue of it, the film cleverly demonstrates — right through to the nail-biting end — how new technology has fundamentally changed the way people can and do communicate.

Wasted On The Young was a debut feature for Lucas and also for producers Janelle Landers and Aidan O’Bryan, the principals of Perth-based production house WBMC who are currently doing the rounds of the Hollywood studios.

Wasted On The Young was financed by Western Australian film agency ScreenWest and Federal Government agency Screen Australia.

Local rights were held back when Fortissimo acquired worldwide sales rights to in late March in the lead-up to Hong Kong Filmart. The Paramount deal, as with most, includes New Zealand rights.