Before Its TIFF Premiere “The Vast of Night” Was Acquired by Amazon Studios

The Vast of Night was acquired by Amazon Studios ahead of the film’s Canadian premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

This is the first film in years–if not ever–to premiere during the Slamdance Film Festival and go on to screen during Toronto. The film, directed by Andrew Patterson, would go onto become a fan favorite following its Toronto screenings. Following all the votes, The Vast of Night finished in second place for the Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award.

“When we discovered The Vast of Night, we were all blown away by this slow-burn, supernatural story, and the spectacular filmmaking,” said Ted Hope, co-head of movies at Amazon Studios, in a statement according to Variety. “Andrew Patterson is immensely talented with huge potential to become the next voice of this genre. We are so thrilled to be working with Andrew and can’t wait to see what he has coming up next.”

The Vast of Night Acquired By Amazon Studios
Sierra McCormick in The Vast of Night. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.

I said it before when I saw the film earlier this year during Slamdance but Andrew Patterson is a director to watch.  While many have their eyes set on Sundance, the Slamdance Film Festival is also known for discovering filmmakers.  Among some names to breakthrough at the other Park City film festival are Christopher Nolan and the Russo brothers.

Set in 1950s New Mexico, a young switchboard operator (Sierra McCormick) and a radio DJ (Jake Horowitz) uncover a strange frequency and investigate its origins. What happens next is a scavenger hunt that plays out for roughly ninety minutes on screen. The film itself is basically a feature-length episode of Paradox Theater. Or, to put it in simple terms, The Twilight Zone. The camerawork is phenomenal with tracking shots that are practically unheard of for low-budget indie films. One must credit cinematographer M.I. Littin Menz for some very beautiful cinematography.

Patterson directs from a screenplay written by James Montague and Craig W. Sanger. Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz lead a cast that also includes Gail Cronauer and Bruce Davis.

The news was first reported by Variety.

About Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is a film critic and aspiring filmmaker living in Chicago. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, Galeca: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Online Association of Female Film Critics, Online Film Critics Society, and the Online Film & Television Association.

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