Australian horror “AWOKEN“ secures North American distribution

“AWOKEN”, a horror-thriller film from first time writer/director Daniel J. Phillips, has been released in North America by Vertical Entertainment on May 8th, 2020. Included as part of their release strategy, Awoken will be available to rent or buy on all major VOD/Digital platforms such as Amazon, VUDU, Apple TV and iTunes, among others. 

A young medical student attempts to cure her brother from a terminal sleep illness called Fatal Familial Insomnia, where you are unable to sleep until you die. On her quest to help him, a more sinister reason for his condition is revealed. 

“It’s great to see our little Australian film being released as widely as it is in different parts of the world, especially with everything that’s going on at the moment. I hope that the wide distribution of my first feature will invite new opportunities to collaborate on projects in Australia and internationally. I can’t wait to jump into my second film as soon as possible.” – Writer/Director Daniel J. Phillips.

The North American deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector from Vertical Entertainment with Gary Phillips from Moviehouse Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.

Umbrella Entertainment are handling all Australian distribution and will release the film in the latter half of 2020, with a date to be announced.  

AWOKEN was directed by Daniel J. Phillips; written by Alan Grace and Daniel J. Phillips; produced by Craig McMahon, Charles Billeh, John Tedesco and Daniel J. Phillips; cinematography by Michael Tessari; production design by Robert Webb; edited by Sean Lahiff; and music by Christopher Larkin. The film was produced by McMahon International Pictures and Meridian Pictures.

The film stars Erik Thomson, Sara West, Benson Jack Anthony, Matt Crook and Amelia Douglass.

Awoken was produced completely in South Australia, with funding assistance from the South Australian Film Corporation.

Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor that offers a unique combination of full-service marketing and sales services. Dedicated to providing highly-effective and collaborative solutions, Vertical leverages unparalleled relationships to maximize revenue across all streams. The marketing and sales expertise from Vertical’s seasoned team gives content partners a wealth of experience minus the studio costs. 

Vertical won a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for Molly Shannon’s role in “Other People” and the film won a GLAAD Award for “Outstanding Film Limited Release” as well. Vertical also had four other Indie Spirit nominations – three more for “Other People” (Best Lead Actor for Jesse Plemons, and Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for filmmaker Chris Kelly) and one for Best International Film for Babak Anvari’s “Under the Shadow,” which was also the official UK submission for the 2017 Oscars, in addition to winning one BAFTA Award and three British Independent Film Awards as well.  

Upcoming Vertical releases include “Open Source” starring Bruce Willis and Jesse Metcalfe; “Inheritance” starring Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Chace Crawford and Connie Nielsen; “Archive” starring Theo James and Stacy Martin; “Yes, God, Yes” starring Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, and Alisha Boe; “Skylin3s”, the third installment of the Skyline franchise, and “The Bay of Silence” starring Claes Bang and Olga Kurylenko. Other notable recent releases include “Human Capital” starring Liev Schreiber, Marisa Tomei, Peter Saarsgard and Maya Hawke, “Code 8” starring Stephen Amell, Robbie Amell, and Sung Kang, “Can You Keep A Secret?” starring Alexandra Daddario, Tyler Hoechlin and Laverne Cox, “American Woman” starring Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul and Christina Hendricks; “The Professor and the Madman” starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn and Natalie Dormer “Drunk Parents” starring Alec Baldwin, Salma Hayek, Jim Gaffigan, Ben Platt and Joe Manganiello; “Lying and Stealing” starring Theo James and Emily Ratajkowski; Keith Behrman’s “Giant Little Ones” starring Josh Wiggins, Kyle Maclachlan, and Maria Bello; Rob Reiner’s “Shock and Awe” starring Woody Harrelson, James Marsden, Milla Jovovich, Jessica Biel, and Tommy Lee Jones; and Kevin Connolly’s “Gotti” starring John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Chris Mulkey.

Media Contact:
Hannah Lawrence, Vertical Entertainment,