23 Mar 2011

The Divide, a post-apocalyptic thriller shot in Winnipeg last May, will be distributed by Anchor Bay in North America following a successful screening at the South by Southwest Festival on the weekend.

According to one industry publication, the film was sold for a “low seven-figure price” after a midnight screening at SXSW Sunday morning.

Directed by French filmmaker Xavier Gens, the suspense film was largely shot in an elaborate bomb shelter set at the Manitoba Production Centre, and starred Michael Biehn, Courtney B. Vance, Rosanna Arquette, Lauren German, 11-year-old Winnipeg actress Abbey Thickson and Milo Ventimiglia.

The reviews for the film have been mixed. Variety critic Joe Leydon called the film “plodding and repetitive in its efforts to maintain pressure-cooker intensity.”

“The Divide resembles nothing so much as an extended Twilight Zone episode as it brings a sci-fi twist to a familiar scenario about stressed characters who bring out the worst in each other while trapped in close quarters,” Leydon said.

David Harley, critic for the horror website Bloody Disgusting was comparatively enthusiastic, saying:

“The Divide is a terrifying and bleak vision of the future whose performances and images will stick with you for days after you watch it.”

If the film has bleak things to say about humanity’s ability to co-operate, the film itself represented an international effort, made with talent culled from Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Local producers included Juliette Hagopian of Julijette, inc. and Nathaniel Rollo, whose parents Tony and Cathy Rollo, owners of Winnipeg Insurance Brokers, provided the necessary funds to keep the movie going after an unanticipated budget shortfall.

Anchor Bay is a leading distributor of horror films.

by Aniek | Category: News & Announcements,The Divide