UFO Nabs French Distribution for Directors’ Fortnight Player ‘Gazer’ (EXCLUSIVE)

French distribution company UFO has secured the rights to American filmmaker Ryan J. Sloan’s New psychological thriller “Gazer,” which will world premiere at this year’s Directors’ Fortnight on May 22.

Set in New Jersey and starring Sloan’s partner Ariella Mastroianni, “Gazer” is the story of a young mother with a rare degenerative brain condition called dyschronometria. The disease causes her to struggle to perceive time, which makes holding down a steady job nearly impossible. So, when a mysterious woman offers her a risky job, she takes it, unaware of the dark consequences of her decision.

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According to UFO CEO Stéphane Auclaire, “We loved following the lead character Frankie, played by the hypnotic Ariella Mastroianni, through the twists and turns of this paranoid thriller that reminded us of Cronenberg and the Safdie brothers. The sound and music, framing and lighting cohere in an ‘analog obsession’, through which director Ryan J. Sloan immediately imposes his unique stamp. Working on this film is going to be a total pleasure.”

Narratively and stylistically, fans of Hitchcockian-style thrillers will find a lot to like in “Gazer.” Neither Sloan nor Mastroianni have any formal filmmaking education, so they prepared themselves to shoot the film by watching as many films as they could during the pandemic, taking notes and breaking down the things that worked for them and other things that didn’t.

Another standout trait of “Gazer” is that the project was entirely self-financed and produced. The only company involved was Sloan and Mastroianni’s Telstar Films, and the duo shot the movie on weekends while working numerous other full and part-time jobs.

International sales for the New Jersey-set story are being handled by Memento International, while UTA has domestic sales rights.

Other upcoming films in the UFO catalog include Nora Fingscheidt’s “The Outrun” and Gints Zilbalodis’ animated Cannes and Annecy player “Flow.”

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