SXSW Winner 'The Fallout' Heading To HBO Max

The Fallout, filmmaker Megan Park's debut feature, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2021 and received rave reviews across the board. The high school drama was even awarded the Grand Jury Prize in the Narrative Feature Film Competition, as well as the Audience Choice Award. Clearly, Park managed to get herself on quite a few radars with this film. That's now paid off, as the news comes in that Warner Bros. has acquired the global rights to The Fallout.

Deadline reports that The Fallout is now set for a worldwide release through their streaming service HBO Max where available, while Warner Bros. will handle international distribution elsewhere. Park describes her movie and the process of making it as:

"Making The Fallout was a journey I never expected to take and one that has changed me forever. If by seeing this film just one teen feels less alone, less afraid, or somehow understood, that will make the journey worth every step."

The Fallout

Written and directed by Park, the film stars Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin), Maddie Ziegler (West Side Story), Niles Fitch (This is Us), Will Ropp (The Way Back), Lumi Pollack, John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), and Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars).

The synopsis is as follows:

"High schooler Vada (Jenna Ortega) navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family, friends and view of the world are forever altered."

Reviews out of SXSW largely praised the film's sensitivity and deft exploration of grief amid tragedy. Indie Wire made note of, "The filmmaker's aesthetic, a compelling blend of strong compositions (Park and cinematographer Kristen Correll show particular skill at overhead shots) and a social media-slick presentation, matches well with the tough material." The Playlist calls it, "A melodramatic character study whose treacle temperament renders the aftermath of a school shooting powerfully yet strained." The Hollywood Reporter also weighed in, remarking on how the film "...stands apart in its combination of low-key intimacy and, as the title suggests, its unwavering focus on the aftermath."

It doesn't sound like this will be the easiest watch, but count me among those excited to see how Megan Park tackles such fraught, horrific, but sadly relevant subject matter for the generation that has most had to deal with the rise of gun violence in recent years.

The Fallout will release on HBO Max on a soon-to-be-announced date.