IFC Films announced Wendesday that it has acquired the rights to writer-director Jennifer Kent’s new film The Nightingale and will release the movie in the summer. Kent’s previous film was the critically acclaimed horror hit, The Babadook.
The Nightingale follows Clare (Aisling Franciosi), a 21-year-old Irish convict in 1820s Tasmania, who having served her seven-year sentence, is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin), who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare’s husband, Aidan, retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies. Unable to secure justice from the British authorities, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. She is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr) who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness, to track down Hawkins.
The Nightingale had its world premiere at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival’s Venezia 75 competition where it won the Special Jury Prize as well as the Marcello Mastroianni award for Best New Young Performer for Baykali Ganambarr. The film will receive its North American premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
Watch the trailer for The Babadook, above.