Enjoy Cinema Ltd., the new UK theatrical distribution outfit set up earlier this year by Simon Gosling (ex-HanWay), has announced details of its first acquisitions.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid, Enjoy is to release Jason Xenopoulos' Promised Land in the early summer. Based on the novel by Karel Schoeman, this is a thriller about a young London-based lawer who returns to South Africa to scatter his mother's ashes. He encounters a country where embittered white Afrikaaners are trying to cling to their old way of life. Enjoy will roll out the film, a best screenplay winner at the Tokyo festival, to co-incide with Nelson Mandela's visit to the Cannes festival in May.
Enjoy's second new acquisition, Deadend, is a Canadian tale about teenage suicide. Gosling first encountered the project, which follows three kids who make a pact to drive across Canada from Quebec to the West Coast and there to kill themselves, during his HanWay days. Directed by Wyeth Clarkson, the film (originally titled Deadend.com) premiered at last year's Sundance Festival. Gosling plans to release it in August as an extreme form of counter-programming against the big summer tentpole movies.
Enjoy, which has city backing, aims to handle art house titles with commercial crossover appeal. Gosling is looking to acquire around five films a year. "There's a niche in the market for smaller English-language films," he told ScreenDaily.com. In the long run, the company is also moving into production. It is already financing British filmmaker Erica Dunton's debut feature, Red Means Go, a love story set in North Carolina.