Tribeca Film announced it has acquired North American rights to Scottish director David Mackenzie’s award-winning gritty prison drama Starred Up, which stars Jack O’Connell (“Skins”, Angelina Jolie’s upcoming Unbroken), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Rupert Friend (“Homeland”). The screenplay is written by Jonathan Asser, a psychotherapist that worked in the penal system, who won the Best British Newcomer Award at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival. A 2014 theatrical release is planned for the film, which premiered earlier this year to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.
Starred Up is about ultra-violent 19-year-old Eric (O’Connell), who is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father (Mendelsohn). As his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies in both prison authorities and fellow inmates — and his already volatile relationship with his father is pushed past the breaking point — Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist (Friend), who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his own life, unsure if his own father is there to protect him or join in punishing him.