IFC Entertainment has acquired North American rights to AJ Annila’s gothic horror film Sauna.
The film will be released through IFC’s Festival Direct platform, which makes films that have screened at marquee film festivals available on-demand. Sauna played at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, as well as screening at the U.S. Fantastic Fest and Sitges in Spain.
The North American deal was negotiated by ICM and Echo Lake Entertainment for Blind Spot Pictures, who is selling Sauna internationally.
’Sauna is one of the most original horror films I’ve seen on the festival circuit in a long time,’ said IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring. ‘AJ has made a film that, when brought to a wide national audience on VOD, should satisfy both fans of horror and those not usually attracted to the genre. It is an impressive feat that signals the emergence of a major international director.’
Set in 16th century Finland, Sauna tells the story of two brothers who, while marking a border between war-torn Finland-Sweden and Russia, abandon a young girl to die a horrible death. As the brothers cross an uncharted swamp, the girl returns to haunt them. They stumble upon a nameless village in the middle of the swamp with an, ancient sauna where sins are washed away. Seeking absolution the brothers step in.
Sauna is the first feature film from film production company Bronson Club.