IFC Midnight announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to writer-director Keith Thomas’ feature debut, THE VIGIL, a supernatural horror film with a Hasidic Jewish twist. THE VIGIL stars Dave Davis (BOMB CITY), Malky Goldman (UNORTHODOX), Menashe Lustig (MENASHE), Fred Melamed (A SERIOUS MAN), and Lynn Cohen (MUNICH). Producing is Raphael Margules and J.D. Lifshitz (CONTRACTED, BECKY) of BoulderLight Pictures alongside Adam Margules (MENASHE). Additional notable credits within the filmmaking team include editor Brett W. Bachman (MANDY, DANIEL ISN’T REAL), composer Michael Yezerski (THE DEVIL’S CANDY), and cinematographer Zach Kuperstein (THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, THE CLIMB).
IFC Films and BoulderLight, being long-time collaborators, came together in a shared sense of ingenuity to build off their unconventional chart-toppers earlier this year – IFC with THE RENTAL (#1 movie in America at the summer box office and on the iTunes charts) and Natalie Erika James’ critically-acclaimed RELIC, BoulderLight with BECKY. IFC Films box office totals surpassed $4.5M during the pandemic with innovative release strategies that continue to evolve.
THE VIGIL had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in the coveted Midnight Madness section with a subsequent U.S. premiere at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. IFC Midnight will release the film on February 26th, 2021.
Steeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, THE VIGIL is a supernatural horror film set over the course of a single evening in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood. Low on funds and having recently left his insular religious community, Yakov reluctantly accepts an offer from his former rabbi and confidante to take on the responsibility of an overnight “shomer,” fulfilling the Jewish practice of watching over the body of a deceased community member. Shortly after arriving at the recently departed’s dilapidated house to sit the vigil, Yakov begins to realize that something is very, very wrong.
Director Keith Thomas commented, “THE VIGIL is a real passion project. Not only for me but our whole team and I’m excited to see how the themes of the film resonate with American audiences. I’m also honored to collaborate with IFC on this release. They have a distinguished record of putting out thought-provoking genre films and their passion for THE VIGIL is palpable.”
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films added, “We could not be more thrilled to partner with our longtime friends at Boulderlight on bringing this unique and truly scary horror film to US audiences. Keith Thomas is an incredible filmmaker, who with THE VIGIL, brings a fresh take on the supernatural genre with something we have never seen before.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions with CAA Media Finance and BoulderLight Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS/MIDNIGHT
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on digital and cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes.
Current releases include Egor Abramenko’s Russian sci-fi thriller SPUTNIK, Natalie Erika James’ critically-acclaimed RELIC and Dave Franco’s THE RENTAL. Some of the company’s successes have included Andy Nyman’s critical darling GHOST STORIES, André Øvredal’s box-office success THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, Peter Strickland’s modern giallo BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO, The Shining conspiracy documentary ROOM 237, Sean Byrne’s THE DEVIL’S CANDY, and the award-winning and cultural phenomenon THE BABADOOK. IFC Midnight is a sister label to IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
ABOUT BOULDERLIGHT PICTURES
BoulderLight is a Los Angeles based production and sales company with a focus on elevated genre content. Our films include the CONTRACTED franchise, BAD MATCH, DISMISSED, and PLEDGE. Our terrifying supernatural horror film THE VIGIL, premiered at TIFF 2019, where it was met with critical acclaim and acquired by Wild Bunch internationally. The film was selected to have its US premiere at SXSW 2020. Our latest release, the über-stylish action thriller BECKY, is directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (BUSHWICK, COOTIES) and stars Kevin James (PAUL BLART) and Lulu Wilson (Haunting of Hill House). BECKY was selected to premiere at Tribeca 2020 and was recently released to commercial and critical success.