"The Unfamiliar" poster. 
Picture: Daniel-Duncan Rheed
"The Unfamiliar" poster. Picture: Daniel-Duncan Rheed

SA thriller 'The Unfamiliar' gets major distribution deal

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published May 26, 2020

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"The Unfamiliar", a gripping South African thriller, has been picked up by major film distribution studios, Lionsgate UK and Vertical Entertainment.

Director and writer, Henk Pretorius and producer, Llewelynn Greeff, both of whom are independent filmmakers, were rewarded with the North American distribution deal and global representation by Scoundrel Media. 

The new film, "The Unfamiliar" tells the story of a British Army doctor, Elizabeth (Izzy) Cormack played by Jemima West, who comes back from war, thinking she has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), only to discover that there are malevolent spirits present at home, making the life that she knew unfamiliar.

The film also stars Rebecca Hanssen, Christopher Dane, Harry McMillan-Hunt, Rachel Lin and Tori Butler-Hart. 

Director and writer, Pretorius, who also wrote and directed "Leading Lady", Fanie Fourie's "Lobola" and "Bakgat", said the trick to success is to focus on what you are born to do and keep pushing forward. 

"In the highly competitive world of filmmaking, a lot of people try to hold you down. The trick is not to listen to them, to focus on what you are authentically born to do and to keep pushing forward. 

"Creating a film that will be seen by a global audience has been my vision since childhood," said Pretorius.  

Greeff, producer at Dark Matter Studios which specializes in creating bespoke feature films and television content and who produced films like "Leading Lady" and "Modder en Bloed" said being internationally represented by an industry icon, Scoundrel Media, has been an important milestone for Dark Matter Studios. 

"The timing of the global release allows us to compete with major studios on a more even playing field," he said.   

Scoundrel Media will premiere "The Unfamiliar" at the Cannes Virtual Market which will run June 22 to 26. 

Myriad Pictures President and CEO Kirk D'Amico said they are excited to be handling international sales on this smart and timely horror thriller film.

"Director Henk Pretorius has gotten great performances from his cast, including the lead. We are also delighted to start working with the talented people at Dark Matter Studios," said D'Amico.  

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