The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing, genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights to “Stage Fright”, a genre-bending horror/comedy/musical that’s world premiering in the Midnighters section at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. The pic is the feature film debut of writer/director Jerome Sable, director of the award-winning, festival favorite short, “The Legend of Beaver Dam.” “Stage Fright” stars Allie MacDonald and Douglas Smith, with Minnie Driver and Meat Loaf, and was produced by Ari Lantos and Jonas Bell Pasht of Serendipity Point Films. Music and Lyrics were written by Jerome Sable and longtime collaborator Eli Batalion, who also appears in the film as the wildly obsessive camp music director.
“Scream” meets “Glee” in this dark comedy musical about a starry-eyed teenager Camilla Swanson who aspires to follow in the footsteps of her Broadway diva mother. Instead she’s stuck working in the kitchen of a snobby performing arts camp. Determined to change her destiny, she sneaks in to audition for the summer showcase and lands a lead role in the play, but just as rehearsals begin, blood starts to spill, and Camilla soon finds herself terrified by the horror of musical theater.
“Stage Fright is smart, stylish and incredibly fun—an assured debut from Jerome Sable, with excellent musical numbers that really deliver.” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Its inventive and entertaining blend of slasher horror and musical comedy will appeal to genre fans of all stripes.”
“As a fan of Magnet and the movies they release, I cannot tell you how excited I am that our film is on their roster,” said Sable. “I am honored that they’re helping me with my lifelong dream of bringing bloodthirsty gorehounds and musical theatre geeks a little bit closer together.”
Magnet is releasing the film in its Ultra VOD program, launching it on iTunes and On Demand on April 3rd, followed by a theatrical release on May 9th.
The deal was negotiated by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and VP of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg with Nate Bolotin of XYZ films on behalf of the filmmakers. XYZ is selling international rights at this year’s EFM.