The release of the Australian-shot US horror film Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark has been put on hold indefinitely due to Disney’s sale of specialty distributor Miramax Films.

The Miramax film, which was originally scheduled to be released in early 2011, was filmed in Victoria last year and helped prop up the ailing local feature film industry as a strengthening local dollar and global economic downturn curtailed production.

However, Disney recently agreed to sell its Miramax division to Filmyard Holdings for $US660 million – which has delayed the release of the 1973 remake, according to a local source and international reports.

A comment was still being sought from Disney Australia.

The Miramax sale is expected to be finalised by the end of this year and has also delayed the release of the Sam Worthington film The Debt.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark and the latest Chronicles Of Narnia instalment were two of the biggest feature films shot in Australia in 2009-10, according to Screen Australia’s drama report.

In August, INSIDEFILM reported that Australia had lost more than $200 million in potential productions in the past 12 months.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark stars Katie Holmes, Jack Thompson and Guy Pearce and was directed by Troy Nixey and produced by Guillermo del Toro.

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