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Thandiwe Newton in God's Country by Julian Higgins
Thandiwe Newton in God’s Country by Julian Higgins. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

IFC Films acquired Julian Higgins’ feature debut God’s Country after its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival; and will release the film theatrically in Fall of 2022.

Based on the short story “Winter Light” by acclaimed author James Lee Burke, the film stars BAFTA® and Emmy Award winner Thandiwe Newton (Westworld, Crash), Jeremy Bobb (The Outsider), Joris Jarsky (The Little Things), Jefferson White (Yellowstone), Kai Lennox (The Girl From Plainville) and Tanaya Beatty (Through Black Spruce).

God’s Country is a character-driven thriller set in the snowy wilderness of the American West. Thandiwe Newton plays Sandra Guidry, a Black professor living and working in a rural college town. She discovers a mysterious red truck parked in her driveway and soon learns it belongs to a pair of local hunters seeking to enter the forest behind her house. Sandra turns them away politely but firmly – her experience tells her these are not the sort of men to welcome freely into her world. But they won’t take no for an answer, and soon Sandra finds herself drawn into an escalating battle of wills that puts her most deeply held values to the test.

Director Julian Higgins added, “IFC Films has established a deep commitment to independent filmmakers and a passion for movies that engage and challenge audiences. God’s Country has been a yearslong labor of love for our entire team, and I am truly thrilled we’ve found the perfect home.”

Higgins is a Los Angeles-based director, writer, and producer. His short films have screened around the globe and won dozens of prizes, including the gold medal Student Academy Award, two Student Emmy Awards, and the grand prize of Ron Howard’s “Project Imagination” Contest. His most recent short, Winter Light, was a top ten finalist for the Oscar. A New Hampshire native, Julian holds a BFA in Film from Emerson College and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. He currently teaches directing at both institutions.

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