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EXCLUSIVE: Hot SXSW title Number 37, a Hitchcockian South African crime thriller, is heading to theaters in the U.S. after Dark Star Pictures picked up all North American rights.

The film, which is the directorial debut of Nosipho Dumisa, is to get a fall theatrical release, starting in New York and LA, followed by an early winter video-on-demand release.

Number 37, which started out as a short film before picking up steam after the festival route, aired as part of the Narrative Feature section at the Austin fest earlier this year.

The plot of the Afrikaans-language pic is a homage to Hitchcocks Rear Window and centers on Randall, a low-level criminal recently crippled in an illicit deal gone wrong. Cooped up in his apartment in a rough Cape Town neighborhood, he is heavily indebted to a loan shark named Emmie with the clock ticking for him and his girlfriend Pam to pay the money back. A gift of a pair of binoculars presents him with an opportunity to get his hands on the cash, but at great risk.

Irshaad Ally, Monique Rockman, Ephraim Gordon, David Manuel, Sandy Schultz, Deon Lotz, Danny Ross, Amrain Essop, Elton Landrew and Jeff Moss star in the pic. The film was shot in Cape Town and was produced by Bradley Joshua and Benjamin Overmeyer of South African production outfit Gambit Films with XYZ Films, which repped the firm, also serving as executive producers on the project. Dark Star Pictures President Michael Repsch negotiated the deal with XYZ Films Director of Sales Pip Ngo and Partner Nate Bolotin.

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Number 37 is an intense homage to the classics of the thriller genre, all the while offering a fresh and unique artistic vision. Nosipho is an incredibly talented new filmmaker and we cannot wait to bring her first feature film to North American audiences,” said Repsch.

“From the films conceptual phase to the development, we wanted to tell a thrilling story that could be universally adopted. Its been a privilege to work with XYZ Films over the last few years and we are very excited to partner with Dark Star Pictures for North American distribution” added Gambit Films Joshua.

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