EFM 2017: Bart Layton To Direct Daring Heist Thriller, AMERICAN ANIMALS


Announcements from Berlin continue to roll out on Thursday with Sierra/Affinity pushing international sales at the European Film Market for heist thriller, American Animals, which is currently slated to start filming this year in North America. The film marks multi-acclaimed, BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Bart Layton's feature debut following his previous accolades on the celebrated 2012 documentary, The Imposter, which he shares with producer Dimitri Donagis.

The two will be pairing once again for the film which aims to take the thrill of the heist genre and turn it inside out, blurring the line between truth and fiction in a wild story of money, movies and the search for meaning. Largely inspired by the unbelieveable-yet-true story, American Animals focuses on four young men who, in the mistaken view of their lives as a movie, set out to attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history. 

Sundance 2016 Breakout Star, Mammal actor Barry Keoghan ('71, Norfolk), TIFF 2016 Rising Star actor Jared Abrahamson (Hello Destroyer, Detour), and Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some, The Edge Of Seventeen) will join the earlier-announced Evan Peters (X-Men: Days Of Future Past and Apocalypse), to star with actress Ann Dowd (Compliance, Captain Fantastic) and beloved character actor Udo Kier of Blade and Iron Sky fame. Film4 and AI film are developing and co-financing the film for Layton and Donagis's Raw banner Donagis, Katherine Butler, Derrin Schlesinger and Mary Jane Skalski producing. Executive producing are AI Films's Aviv Giladi and Len Blavatnik, STX International President David Kosse, Film4’s Sam Lavender and Daniel Battsek and Lava Bear Films's Tory Metzger.

Actor Keoghan will appear in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk from Warner Bros. Pictures this July while Abrahamson's latest thriller, Sweet Virgina with actor Jon Bernthal just wrapped under helmer Jamie Dagg, and Jenner set to star in Shawn Christensen's Sidney Hall. Kier will also be seen with actor Vince Vaughn in the recently-completed Brawl In Cell Block 99 for director S. Craig Zahler, as well as returning in Timo Vuorensela's fantasy sequel, Iron Sky: The Coming Race.

Keoghan is represented by Troika, WME, and Management 360. Abrahamson is represented by LLA, WME and Thruline Entertainment. Jenner is represented by CAA and Atlas Artists. Dowd is represented by Innovative Artists and Principal Entertainment LA. Kier is represented by Richard Schwartz Management.

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