Shane Abbess’ sci-fi thriller Infini will be released on digital platforms in Australia and in US cinemas and online on the same day, May 8.

That strategy is designed to dovetail with the North American marketing and to limit the potential for piracy of the Sydney-shot film which stars Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Bren Foster and Luke Ford.

It’s the first project from Storm Vision Entertainment, a joint venture between production companies Storm Alley Entertainment (Abbess and Sidonie Abbene) and Eclectik Vision (Brett Thornquest).

EntertainmentOne is booking a screening on Thursday May 7 at the Randwick Ritz followed by a Q&A with Abbess, MacPherson and other key cast.

The next day the title will be available on iTunes, Google Play, Foxtel on Demand, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Telstra, Quickflix, Fetch TV and Dendy Direct.

US distributor Vertical Entertainment is launching the film theatrically in 10 major markets and day-and-date on VOD. Netflix will stream the title in the US in August/September following the DVD release in July.

“We are delighted that eOne is able to release Infini at the same time as North America so we can maximise the collective marketing and press being generated,” Thornquest tells IF.

“More and more this is the only progressive way to launch films in key markets. Our territorial distribution partners in Europe and Asia will be releasing Infini soon after Australia and North America.”

EOne first used that direct-to-digital strategy last year with The Mule, which was released online the same day in the US.

Louise Balletti, eOne head of digital, said, “It’s rare to be given the opportunity to release such a high calibre locally made sci-fi production across digital platforms.

“The fact that Infini has been afforded such a high profile release in the US is testament to its production values. To be able to make the film available the same day as the US release in Australia is exciting as it gives Australian consumers a legal and affordable option.”

The plot follows a search and rescue team that is transported through deep space in the 23rd century to a distant mining colony to save the sole survivor of a biological outbreak. Using Slipstream technology the team must quarantine a lethal biological weapon which is set to arrive on Earth within the hour.

Infini has been sold to the UK (Altitude), Japan (Culture Entertainment), Germany (Capelight Pictures), France (Seven Sept) the Middle East and other Asian territories.

It had its international premiere on April 11 at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, the day before a special presentation at the Gold Coast Film Festival, and in May will screen in competition at the Nocturna Madrid International Fantastic Film Festival.

Abbess is in early pre-production on a project with the working title Science Fiction: Volume 1 , due to shoot in Australia in the second half of this year, produced by Eclectik Vision and Storm Alley.

Set in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, the thriller will follow a dysfunctional family in the midst of a pending global crisis where they are confronted by monsters that live inside us all.

In development is Slipstream, a big budget TV series in partnership with a US production company, which revolves around a futuristic Black Ops unit that specializes in a unique form of time travel, utilising the Slipstream technology depicted in Infini.

In other news, Umbrella Entertainment has acquired the Australian rights to Marc Furmie’s sci-fi thriller Terminus, a collaboration between Storm Vision Entertainment and Tim Maddocks’ Maddfilms.

The saga of a small town mechanic who makes a shocking discovery which may affect the fate of mankind, it stars Jai Koutrae, Kendra Appleton and Todd Lasance. It will have its international premiere at the Nocturna Madrid International Fantastic Film Festival.

Storm Vision’s next project is Safe Neighbourhood, a thriller from US-based Australian writer-director Chris Peckover. The film is set on a quiet suburban street in a ‘safe neighbourhood’ where a babysitter has to defend a 12–year-old boy from strangers breaking into the house, only to discover this is far from a normal home invasion.

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