Netflix picks up Adelaide-made sci-fi film at Sundance

Streaming giant Netflix has acquired international distribution rights to locally made thriller I Am Mother following its debut at Sundance Film Festival.

Financed by the Adelaide Film Festival’s investment fund and filmed in Adelaide, Perth director Grant Sputore’s first feature stars Hilary Swank, Rose Byrne and Danish newcomer Clara Rugaard. The film sees Rugaard play a teenager raised in isolation by a robot guardian ‘Mother’ (Byrne) tasked with saving humanity following an extinction-level event, like a gritty cross between Wall-E and Nell.

I Am Mother‘s robot lead character was designed by Weta Workshop (Lord of the Rings) (Photo: Adelaide Film Festival)

A work-in-progress cut of the film debuted at last year’s Adelaide Film Festival, before making its way to Sundance last week. Netflix has form when it comes to acquiring South Australian films about parent-child dynamics set against a bleak dystopian future, with 2017’s Martin Freeman-starring zombie feature Cargo also snapped up following its premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival.

I Am Mother isn’t the only local film to have drawn praise at Sundance, with Adelaide director Sophie Hyde’s Alia Shawkwat-starring Irish co-production Animals attracting positive reviews from The Guardian and Variety. As Variety reports, Netflix also acquired Zac Efron-starring Ted Bundy film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and Knock Down The House, a documentary newly elected US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

I Am Mother is due to receive a theatrical release in Australia through Studio Canal, although no release date has been set.

Header image:
Adelaide Film Festival

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