BFI Distribution has picked up the well-received Irish drama God’s Creatures for theatrical release in the UK. The deal also includes a partnership with independent Irish distributor Volta Pictures, who have acquired the film for Ireland.

Volta Pictures will release the film in Ireland on March 23, 2023, and BFI Distribution will take it to UK cinemas a week later on March 31.

The film was acquired from A24, marking the first time the BFI has picked up a film from the prolific American studio. A24 released the film in the US in September.

Directed by New York-based filmmakers Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer (The Fits) in their feature debut as a duo, God’s Creatures debuted in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at Cannes last year. The film stars Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves), Paul Mescal (Normal People, Aftersun), and Aisling Franciosi (The Fall). Billed as a “quietly devastating drama,” the film is set on the coast of Ireland in and around a windswept fishing village where a mother is torn between protecting her beloved son and her own sense of right and wrong. A lie she tells for him rips apart their family and close-knit community in this tense, sweepingly emotional epic, the official synopsis reads.

The film picked up five BIFA 2022 nominations: Emily Watson for Lead Performance; Paul Mescal and Aisling Franciosi for Best Supporting Performance; Shane Crowley for Best Debut Screenwriter, and Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans for Best Original Music.

Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (Lady Macbeth, Ammonite) of indie production company Nine Daughters produced the pic, which comes from a screenplay written by Shane Crowley based on a story he co-wrote with Cronin O’Reilly.

God’s Creatures was developed with the support of Screen Ireland, BBC Film and A24. The pic was co-financed by A24, BBC Film, Screen Ireland and the Western Region Audiovisual Producers Fund/WRAP.

Julie Pearce, BFI Head of Distribution, said “We’re excited to acquire our first feature from A24. God’s Creatures is such a powerful and compelling film, with a strong and important storyline and magnificent performances from Emily Watson and Paul Mescal. It makes good sense for us to partner with Volta Pictures, whose expertise will give the film the best possible launch in Ireland, while we take the film to UK cinemas. We’re looking forward to working together.”

Karen O’Malley, Head of Distribution at Volta Pictures, added “We are delighted to work with the BFI and with Fodhla to bring the masterful God’s Creatures to Irish cinema audiences this March.”


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