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IFC Midnight Acquires Brandon Cronenberg's 'Antiviral,' Father and Son Interview at Cannes (VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 6, 2012 at 9:07PM

The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. Thus Brandon Cronenberg, whose debut feature "Antiviral" premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, shares plenty of horror DNA with his father David, who admitted during a Cannes father-son interview with Toronto Film Festival's Cameron Bailey that they both share an interest in the natural world.
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David and Brandon Cronenberg
David and Brandon Cronenberg

The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

Thus Brandon Cronenberg, whose debut feature "Antiviral" premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, shares plenty of horror DNA with his father David, who admitted during a father-son interview with Toronto Film Festival's Cameron Bailey at Cannes (video below) that he and his son share an interest in the sciences, animals and the natural world. “I had no dynastic ambitions for Bran particularly,” he told the audience. “Whatever he wanted to do was going to happen naturally.” Croneberg pere said he was less a creative mentor to his son than the film's producer, Niv Fichman. 

While the 69-year-old father easily charmed the room, Brandon, 32, was far more circumspect, at least in public. He started out making shorts and finished his first feature just before Cannes. This is the first time father-and-son features have played the festival in the same year. While Entertainment One acquired ahead of the fest Rob Pattinson-starrer "Cosmopolis," which was in competiton at Cannes but came away with no awards, IFC Midnight just acquired U.S. rights to "Antiviral."

Based on Brandon's screenplay, the film stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith and Malcolm McDowell.

"The film manages to skewer our culture's obsession with celebrity," said Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, "while also delivering more than a fair share of chills and gruesome body horror.  We look forward to working with Brandon and his team."

Produced by Rhombus Media with the participation of Telefilm Canada and the OMDC, "Antiviral" will be released in Canada by Alliance Films and in the UK by its subsidiary Momentum Pictures. IFC Midnight is a sister label of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

Here's the synopsis:

ANTIVIRAL follows the story of Syd March, an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to rabid fans who wish to partake in the ultimate form of communion. Syd supplements his income by selling illegal samples of these viruses on the black market,smuggling them out of the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills superstar Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and obsessed fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding the starlet’s death before he too meets a morbid end.
 

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, IFC Midnight


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.