Dark Sky Films Acquires ‘Emelie’

by Lynn Sorel



Set For a Spring 2016 Theatrical Release

New York, NY – MPI Media Group today announced it has acquired domestic U.S. rights to EMELIE, a gripping new psychological thriller and the first feature from prolific concert film and short-film director Michael Thelin. The film will receive a release under the company’s elevated genre label, Dark Sky Films. A hit at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, Dark Sky plans a theatrical release in early Spring 2016.


The deal was negotiated by Greg Newman, Executive Vice President of MPI Media Group, and Creative Artists Agency.


In EMELIE, director Michael Thelin and writer Richard Raymond Harry Herbeck have taken an everyday experience – a couple handing their kids off to a babysitter – and created an original, nail-biting thriller. The Thompsons, a loving family living in a peaceful suburb of Buffalo, New York, are the definition of wholesome American normalcy. When their regular babysitter can’t make it, Dan and Joyce turn to her friend Anna to watch their three children while they go out to celebrate their anniversary. At first, the young woman seems like a dream come true for the kids, as she allows them to play with things that are usually off-limits. But, as her behavior becomes increasingly odd, the frightened kids realize her intentions are dark and twisted – and that she may not even be Anna at all.


MPI’s Greg Newman said of EMELIE, “With his first narrative feature, Michael Thelin proves to be a consummate craftsman, delivering a mature and thoroughly chilling and disturbing thriller that will stay with viewers long after it’s over.”


EMELIE was produced by Uncorked Productions’ Andrew D. Corkin, producer of the acclaimed Martha Marcy May Marlene and We Are What We Are. Lizzie Friedman and Greg Little of Sandbar Pictures & Abandon Features financed and executive produced EMELIE. This is their third film collaboration, their most recent film, The Stanford Prison Experiment, won The Alfred P. Sloan screenwriting award at Sundance. Robert Beaumont, Roxanne Fie Anderson and Elizabeth Jane Stillwell are also executive producers. The cast includes Sarah Bolger (The Moth Diaries, The Spiderwick Chronicles), Chris Beetem (Black Hawk Down, Inside Amy Schumer), Susan Pourfar (Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, TV’s Elementary) and, as the Thompson children, Joshua Rush, Carly Adams and Thomas Bair.


This acquisition comes on the heels of MPI’s and Dark Sky’s numerous successes this year, which include the theatrical releases of the critically acclaimed films Call Me Lucky,  We Are Still Here and Deathgasm.


About Dark Sky Films

Dark Sky Films is an independent film production and distribution label founded in 2008, working with emerging talent as well as established veterans to develop, package, produce and finance feature film and episodic television projects. Representing films from some of the most talented directors working today, such as Ti West’s The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, and Jim Mickle’s Stake Land, Dark Sky continues to identify original talent and projects to bring a vibrant slate of films to the world market, with such recent productions as We Are Still Here, Deathgasm, Applesauce and Cherry Tree.


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