Issue date: 
Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Coming Home in the Dark will have its World Premiere in the Midnight section of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

Written by Eli Kent and James Ashcroft, and produced by Mike Minogue, Catherine Fitzgerald and Desray Armstrong, Coming Home in the Dark is director James Ashcroft’s first feature film, telling the story of a teacher forced to confront a secret from his past when a pair of ruthless drifters take his family on a nightmare road-trip.  The film stars Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell and Matthias Luafutu.

Making the announcement, the Festival said, “Ashcroft pulls absolutely no punches in his feature debut, an astonishingly lean and relentlessly paced descent into the heart of brutality.” Earlier, the festival announced their 2021 plan where all films in the programme will be available online in the United States, via a custom-designed online platform, with certain films opting for global availability. Each of the 70+ feature films will premiere online in a dedicated time slot, followed by a live Q&A. Alongside this online platform, the festival has created a network of partnerships made up of drive-ins, independent arthouses, and local community partnerships, and following its online premiere, Coming Home in the Dark, can be watched on the big screen at an LA Drive In.

Director James Ashcroft said, “Everyone involved with making Coming Home in the Dark had tremendous passion and ambition for the film. So to have our work recognised internationally by one of the world's leading film festivals is a great honour. We're looking forward to bringing it home for Aotearoa audiences in the near future.”

“The producers are beyond excited to have Coming Home in the Dark’s world premiere at Sundance,” said producer Mike Minogue. “We are incredibly proud of what director James Ashcroft and the rest of our team have brought to the screen and look forward to being able to share it on such an esteemed stage.”

NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan said, “Having a film screen at Sundance is always a great way to start a new year, and what a fantastic way for James Ashcroft to begin his feature filmmaking career with selection to premiere at such a prestigious festival.”

Coming Home in the Dark is based on renowned New Zealand writer Owen Marshall’s short story of the same name, and was made with investment from the New Zealand Film Commission and POW Studios.  The film will be distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Monster Pictures and international sales will be handled by MPI Media.

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will run 28 January – 3 February, comprising an online platform featuring seven days of premieres, events, artist talks, and cutting-edge XR exhibitions.

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 16 December 2020