The deal comes as the video streaming giant faces controversy in French-speaking Quebec over its local investment strategy.
Netflix on Thursday picked up the Canadian indie Les Affames from writer/director Robin Aubert after the French language zombie pic bowed at the Toronto Film Festival and earned the best first feature prize.
The feature will be available on March 2 to Netflix subscribers around the world, except for Canada, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Les Affames will start streaming on the Netflix Canada service starting in 2019.
The film was released theatrically in Canada in October 2017. The Netflix acquisition for Les Affames follows the U.S. video streaming giant coming under fire in Quebec for its local investment strategy.
Netflix late last year agreed to invest $400 million in Canada in local TV series like Alias Grace and films, and to set up a permanent production studio. But Ottawa came under fire for not forcing Netflix to collect the HST goods and services tax from its local streaming service subscribers.
The Canadian government in recent years has rejected persistent calls to regulate and tax U.S. online giants to help fund Canadian programming. In response, Quebec unveiled plans to impose a provincial sales tax on Netflix, Amazon and other U.S. video streamers operating locally.
Les Affames stars Marc-André Grondin, Monia Chokri and Micheline Lanctot and tells the story of a changed small and remote village in upstate Quebec. Locals are not the same anymore. Their bodies are breaking down and they have turned against their loved ones.
A handful of survivors then go into hiding in the woods, looking for others like them. The film is produced by Stephanie Morissette and C.S. Roy of La maison de productions. “Les Affames enraptured audiences in Canada and we’re delighted to bring this unique Quebecois voice to other countries around the world,” Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, said in a statement.