‘Strawberry Mansion’ Trailer: Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s Surreal Sundance Mind-Bender

Music Box Films has today announced the Chicago-based distributor’s acquisition of “Strawberry Mansion” in North America, in a deal struck with Submarine Entertainment. To celebrate the pickup, the distributor has also offered up the first trailer for the film, a surreal charmer that debuted at Sundance back in January and promises to enthrall audiences when Music Box releases it later this year.

Written and directed by Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney, the film “is set in the not-too-distant future, in a world where dreams are recorded and taxed by the government. Audley stars as an unassuming dream auditor who gets swept up in a cosmic journey through the life and dreams of an older eccentric (Penny Fuller).”

Out of Sundance, IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn wrote that the film is a “visually entrancing and innovative fantasy” that was “shot on video and transferred to 16mm, [and] looks like some kind of lost ‘80s vision buried in the dustbin of the rental store. The filmmakers blend their scrappy, intimate aesthetic with handmade special effects on par with the loose, stream-of-consciousness flow of the dreams at the center of the story, resulting in a playful, bittersweet blend that suggests Terry Gilliam on a microbudget.”

“Albert and Kentucker’s vividly imagined dreamscape captured our imaginations immediately, and the tender relationship at the heart of their story truly won us over,” said Music Box Films’ Head of Acquisitions Brian Andreotti in an official statement. “We’re eager to share this innovative and charming film with audiences later this year.”

In his own official statement, Audley added, “Albert and I are very excited to partner with Music Box Films, a company we’ve long admired for their passionate and wonderfully curated catalog of films. As far as I know, we’ll be the first in their collection of high art world cinema to feature talking frog waiters and rat sailors who sing sea shanties.”

Following its world premiere at Sundance, “Strawberry Mansion” also screened at a variety of other festivals, including San Francisco International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, and International Film Festival Boston.

Music Box Films plans a theatrical release later this year, followed by digital and home entertainment releases. Check out the first trailer for the film, available exclusively on IndieWire, below.

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