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IFC Can’t Shake the Disease; Grab Cannes Preemed “Antiviral”

The Un Certain Regard selected “Antiviral” has been picked up by Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Arianna Bocco having probably put in a low bid offer for Brandon Cronenbreg’s directing debut – a film that got mostly panned by critics just a couple of weeks back.

Gist: Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion – for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.

Worth Noting: Apparently when Thierry Fremaux introduced the film to the public before the premiere, he cited that the only reason why it was included in the UCR was because of David Cronenberg. What we think Thierry meant by this was: that if the Cronenberg Sr. didn’t make a Cronenberg Jr. …. there would be no film.

Do We Care?: The film got bashed in Cannes, and our Blake Williams (review coming soon) tweeted that the quality level just isn’t there calling it “a straight-to-video terrible horror film, sans any fun whatsoever.”

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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