Patrick footage draws foreign buyers

30 May, 2013 by Don Groves

Some 20 minutes of Patrick, director Mark Hartley’s re-imagining of Richard Franklin’s 1978 Australian psychological thriller, was screened for US and international distributors at the Cannes Film Market.

Producer Antony I. Ginnane was pleased with the feedback and is hoping the film will be selected for the Toronto International Film Festival in October, which he believes would be the launch pad for a raft of sales.


In Cannes the international sales agent Bankside Films sold the pic, which stars Charles Dance, Sharni Vinson and Rachel Griffiths, to distributors in Turkey and the Middle East. Patrick will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in July and will open in cinemas in October via Umbrella Entertainment.

Ginnane produced the original, which starred Robert Helpmann, Susan Penhaligon and Robert Thompson. It was a breakthrough for the producer as it was snapped up by theatrical distributors worldwide. It made a ton of money in Italy where it sparked an unsanctioned 1980 sequel, Patrick vive ancora (Patrick Lives Again). Ginnane took legal action to stop the producers exhibiting the film outside the country, although it was released on DVD in the US in April. He’s seen that version and said it’s dreadful.

In Cannes Ginnane acquired one title for IFM/Filmways, his Australian theatrical distribution co-venture with Robert Ward: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Un Voyageur), an autobiography of documentary filmmaker Marcel Ophüls, son of legendary director Max Ophüls. It will screen at MIFF followed by a limited theatrical release.

Also on IFM/Filmways’ slate are Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Gold Coast-set thriller Absolute Deception, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Emmanuelle Vaugier and opens in August; and Andrew Traucki’s The Jungle, a thriller about a conservationist who goes to Indonesia to save the Java leopard and discovers something much bigger and nastier, which will go out in November/December.

Ginnane plans to launch The Stolen, first-time director Geoff Davis’ WWII drama about three young Australians who leave their outback home to go to war and come back to find their family has been attacked by cattle rustlers, on Anzac Day 2014.