We’re pleased to announce that Vertigo Releasing has acquired SXSW Grand Jury prize winner Freshman Year (previously known as Shithouse) for the UK and Ireland. Freshman Year is written and directed by breakout talent Cooper Raiff, who also stars in the feature debut alongside Dylan Gelula (The First Girl I Loved, Her Smell), Amy Landecker (Transparent, A Serious Man) and Logan Miller (Love Simon, The Stanford Prison Experiment).

Protagonist Pictures will represent international sales on the critically acclaimed title, launching at AFM in November. Produced by Raiff, Divi Crockett and Will Youmans, Freshman Year made its world premiere in the Narrative Feature Competition section at the virtual 2020 SXSW Film Festival, where the film won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature.

Lonely college freshman Alex (Raiff) has closed himself off from his peers, who all appear to have this whole “college thing” figured out. But everything changes one night when Alex takes a leap and attends a party at Shithouse – a legendary party fraternity – where he forges a strong connection with Maggie (Gelula). The next day, she ignores him completely and seems to have forgotten about their amazing night. Desperately clinging to his social breakthrough, Alex pulls out all the stops with one more party, hoping to rekindle that moment of connection.

Vertigo will be releasing the film in cinemas and on digital platforms in February 2021. Ed Caffrey, Head of Acquisitions and Business Development at Vertigo, says, “We are delighted to be working with our friends at Protagonist on this film. It has such a unique and fresh sense of humour, some of us are still quoting it to each other in Zoom calls.”

Dave Bishop, CEO Protagonist Pictures, also notes “We immediately fell in love with Cooper’s film following its premiere in SXSW. It is one of the freshest, funniest, and most heartfelt debuts in many years and feels like the perfect tonic during these difficult times. We’re delighted to be working with such a brilliant new cinematic voice and can’t wait to share the film with our international partners at AFM.”

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