EXCLUSIVE: Music Box Films has acquired North American rights to SXSW road-trip drama The Unknown Country starring Certain Women and Killers of the Flower Moon actress Lily Gladstone and Raymond Lee (Top Gun: Maverick).
In director Morrisa Maltz’s indie pic, an unexpected invitation rushes a grieving young woman into a road trip through the American Midwest towards the border between Texas and Mexico. The young woman, Tana, navigates the complex, post-2016 election social climate, and a natural landscape that is increasingly surreal. Along the way, she bonds with unexpected people who are unknown to her yet intrinsically familiar.
The Unknown Country is produced by Katherine Harper and Laura Heberton alongside executive producers Miranda Bailey and Natalie Whalen of Cold Iron Pictures (Super). Executive producers include Ty Gordon of Wooden Fingers Studios, Rachel Crouch, Gill Holland, Steve Malouf, Matthew C. Mills and Veronica Nickel.
The sale was negotiated by Music Box Films and CAA Media Finance, UTA, and Range Media Partners.
The feature is set to make its Bay Area premiere on October 9 at the Mill Valley Film Festival and Music Box will release in theaters and on home entertainment platforms in 2023.
At Mill Valley, there will also be a panel for the movie exploring the film’s production as an exemplar of sustainable filmmaking practices, featuring director Morrisa Maltz, actor Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, actor Lily Gladstone, and editor Vanara Taing.
Emerging actress Gladstone was set by Martin Scorsese for one of the lead roles opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in his upcoming crime-drama Killers Of The Flower Moon, which is due to debut next year.
“Morrisa’s lyrical road movie blurs the lines separating documentary and fiction filmmaking in really innovative ways,” stated Brian Andreotti of Music Box Films. “Lily Gladstone’s soulful performance enriches this cinematic postcard from the backroads and highways connecting middle America’s diverse voices and varied landscapes. Music Box Films is pleased to take audiences on this unforgettable journey through the heart of our country.”
“We’re so excited to continue our film’s incredible journey with Music Box,” said Director Morrisa Maltz. “Partnering with a distributor that has such a sincere love and passion for daring independent cinema is so important for a film like ours. We could not be more thrilled to work with their talented and exceptionally creative team to bring The Unknown Country to audiences next year.”
Music Box’s recent releases include seven-time César-winning pic Lost Illusions, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight film Medusa, and Mark Cousins’ documentary The Story of Film: A New Generation.