Spud set for international release

2011-09-14 15:09
Cape Town - After a successful release in South Africa in December 2010, Spud, the film adaptation of one of South Africa’s best-loved books, has landed distribution deals to release the film in the UK, Ireland, the Middle East, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia.

The deal to distribute the film in the UK was announced at the Toronto Film Festival this past weekend by the film’s international sales agent, The Little Film Company, and will see Universal UK handling theatrical, home entertainment and television rights, with the cinema release set for early 2012. Universal UK is the British & Irish arm of Hollywood studio NBC Universal.

Spud producer Ross Garland is delighted that such a powerhouse player has picked up the film. "It’s a bit of a coup for a major distributor like Universal UK to pick up a South African film – and we’re delighted that they’re so passionate about it," he says.

"2012 is shaping up to be a big Spud year - in addition to our first foray into the international market, the fourth book in the series is being published and we’re working on plans to shoot the sequel film".

'UK audiences will fall in love'

Universal UK Acquisition Head Richard Thompson believes that UK audiences will enjoy Spud’s coming-of-age story: "The book franchise has an incredible following in South Africa. The film topped the South African box office - beating Harry Potter – and we know UK audiences will fall in love with these characters and this story."

Spud will also be part of the Cinekid Festival in Holland in mid-October. Cinekid is the largest international children’s film festival. The film will also play at Germany’s Schlingel International Film Festival for children and youths, and has already screened at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy in July.

Based on the best-selling South African novel by John van de Ruit, Spud is directed by Donovan Marsh and stars BAFTA-winner, Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee John Cleese and newcomer Troye Sivan (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and was produced by Ross Garland of Rogue Star Films and Brad Logan of BLM Productions.

The film will be distributed in the Middle East by Front Row, in Australia by Pinnacle and by Another World in Scandinavia. Airline rights have been acquired by Terry Steiner.


  • Epicurius - 2011-09-14 17:13

    Although it wasn't nearly as bad as the most recent 'amateur hour' insult to Jock of the Bushveld, this movie certainly didn't measure up to the book in the slightest, nor was it in any way a world class effort.

      eon.engelbrecht - 2011-09-15 01:35

      What?!!! I think you watched the wrong movie!

      Epicurius - 2011-09-15 19:13

      It certainly was a pitiful effort which shamelessly and inappropriately attempted to milk John Cleese's role in the movie, to no avail. They paired the lead with a girl who looked about 8 years his senior. It's high time South Africans started being more discerning and less sentimental and forgiving when reviewing movies such as this. We will never see true excellence if we accept drivel like that. Just look at Jock of the Bushveld. Standards are dropping before our eyes because we let people get away with serving up such crap. The book was excellent. The movie was no match. The setting was awesome. The screenplay was pitiful and not even close to world-class.

  • eon.engelbrecht - 2011-09-15 01:35

    I am sooo UNBELIEVABLY proud of the Spud team!!!!!! They are taking this amazing movie, shot in the stunning Natal Midlands, overseas to America, Germany, etc! What's more, is they are already making plans for a 2nd movie. I am in 7th heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cheryl33 - 2011-09-16 12:40

    Let's face it, when does a movie ever really match up to the book? (Lords of the Rings aside.) It's because books are personal for each person reading them, and movie makers can't be in everyone's heads. I thought the movie was okay - a bit forgettable, but certainly not worthy of all the lambasting going on in the comments section. I LOVED the books, read them again the other day, still brilliant!

  • sakkcine - 2011-10-05 12:32

    Having worked with Troy only months before he departed to South Africa to film Spud, I can't wait to see his performance when the film is released here in Australia in 2012....

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