Independent Entertainment Launch Sales on M. Cahill’s ‘Porcupine,’ Vertical Entertainment Take U.S. Rights (EXCLUSIVE)

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Independent Entertainment have boarded M. Cahill’s “Porcupine” and will launch international sales at the Cannes Marche.

Vertical Entertainment have the North American rights and have set a summer 2022 release for the film, which was written and directed by Cahill.

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Featuring Jena Malone (Hunger Games franchise) and Robert Hunger-Bühler (“Vacuum”), “Porcupine” is based on a true story about “a woman’s longing to belong.”

In the offbeat feature, Malone plays Audrey, a woman who is estranged from her family and struggles to hold down a job, having been fired seven times in two years. Afflicted by the unspoken pandemic of loneliness, she finds solace in going down YouTube rabbit holes. One day that changes when she stumbles across a video about adult adoption and decides to try it out for herself.

Audrey soon gets herself adopted by a family as dysfunctional as she is but finds an unlikely companionship in its patriarch Otto (Hunger-Bühler). Like Audrey, he is “rough around the edges” and struggles to maintain relationships. The two soon discover that “sometimes the best kind of family is the one we choose.”

“Porcupine” has won awards for excellence in storytelling and best performance (for Malone) at the SCAD Film Featival, director’s choice award at the Portland Film Festival, audience choice award at the Woodstock Film Festival and ‘best of fest’ at the Ashland International Film Festival.

Cahill produces the Blackbird Film production alongside Lawrence Inglee (“Swiss Army Man”) and Joanna Colbert (“Standing Up, Falling Down”). Malone exec produces alongside Britt Ehringer, Sonya Lunsford, Scott Foley, Mary Stuart Masterson, Cassandra Del Viscio and Alexandra Brodsky.

“A few years ago, I met someone named Jenna MacFarlane and heard her story,” said Cahill. “Here was this adult woman who made the remarkable decision to put herself up for adoption with a new family. The more time we spent together, the more I felt that hers was a story that needed to be shared. We’re all grateful for the way in which the film and its themes have resonated with Vertical and Independent. We couldn’t hope for better partners.”

In a statement, Independent Entertainment said: “We fell in love with ‘Porcupine’ from the moment we saw it. M. Cahill has crafted a funny, frank and timely tale of generational angst, and with its wonderful star turn from Jena Malone, we have no doubt our buyers will fall for this gem too.”

Tony Piantedosi, Vertical Entertainment’s SVP of acquisitions, added: “We are thrilled to have secured ‘Porcupine’ ahead of Cannes. It is a unique story that M. Cahill has brought to life from paper to the big screen highlighted by exceptional performances from Jena and Robert. We are excited to bring it to audiences later this year.”

Sarah Lebutsch, MD of international sales, will handle international sales for Independent Entertainment. The North American deal was negotiated by Vertical Entertainment’s Tony Piantedosi and CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers.

Jena Malone is repped by represented by Gersh, Management 360 and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman LLP.

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