Australian family drama, starring Geoffrey Rush and Charlotte Rampling, set for UK/Ireland theatrical release in May.

The Eye of the Storm, which picked up awards on the festival circuit in 2011, is to be released in the UK and Ireland this spring.

Munro Film Services has acquired the theatrical and DVD rights to the Australian family drama from global sales rights holder The Little Film Company and plans to release the film in London’s West End and selected UK cities from early May.

Directed by Fred Schepisi (Roxanne, Fierce Creatures), it is based on the 1973 novel by Australian Nobel Prize winner Patrick White.

The feature centres on a wealthy, dying matriarch played by Charlotte Rampling. Geoffrey Rush plays her struggling actor son and Judy Davis portrays his down at heel high-society sister.

Both Rush and Davis, whose characters unite to secure their vast inheritance, are executive producers of the film, which was made by Paper Bank Films.

It was produced by Antony Waddington and Gregory Read, as well as Schepisi, and was developed and financed with the assistance of Screen Australia. 

The drama secured several award wins internationally, including the Age Critics’ Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival, the special jury prize at the Rome International Film Festival and an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Best Lead Actress award for Davis.

When released in Australia in September 2011, it posted the year’s highest opening weekend screen average for a domestic film, taking $196,250 on just 18 screens. It went on to make $1.9m at the Australian box office.

Frank Smith, managing director of Munro Film Services said: “We are extremely excited to bring this excellent adaptation to a UK audience,  who will relish the film’s strong cast and darkly compelling portrayal of complicated family relationships, the telling of which is not without wit.”