Sparking life into a slow business side to the Austin festival, IFC Midnight announced the US acquisition on Monday [11] following a deal with CAA on behalf of the film-makers.

Vincenzo Natali directed Haunter [pictured] from a screenplay by Brian King. Abigail Breslin plays a dead girl who helps solve a terrifying mystery. Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden and David Hewlett also star

Steven Hoban and Mark Smith produced and John Raymonds and Wild Bunch’s Vincent Miraval served as executive producers.

Meanwhile at least four acquisitions teams were understood to be circling Joe Swanberg’s feel-good film Drinking Buddies [pictured]. Sources also said buyers were favouring Short Term 12, Milo, Hours and Freda, while there was some interest in Some Girls.

Drafthouse and Snoot Entertainment struck the first deal of the festival at the weekend when they acquired theatrical, home video and VoD rights to SXSW entry Cheap Thrills. E L Katz’s dark comedy follows a low-income family that gets caught up in a sinister game when a rich couple set s series of dares. Submarine represented the film-makers in the deal.

FilmBuff announced at the weekend it will release SXSW premiere TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay: Away From The Keyboard on digital and VoD platforms on Mar 12. Simon Klose’s directorial debut chronicles the work of the people behind the Swedish file-sharing platform The Pirate Bay, who were put on trial in 2009 for enabling users to share films and music free of charge. The film starts as the trial begins and follows the plight of founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde. Martin Persson produced alongside Klose, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Anne Köhncke.