Did you know that the beautiful city of San Diego has mean streets? City Lights Pictures announced in Cannes today that it has picked up North American rights to Damian Harris' Gardens of the Night, a drama about two young people struggling to exist hand to mouth on the streets of San Diego. City Lights plans a fall theatrical release, according to a statement released by the company.

Gillian Jacobs (pictured) stars as Leslie, a 17-year-old girl who is still dealing with the trauma she experienced when she and her childhood friend Donnie (Evan Ross) were abducted and held captive by two men nine years earlier. The abductors are played by Tom Arnold (!) and Kevin Zegers.


Gardens in the Night played in competition at the Berlin film fest earlier this year, where Arnold was credited with giving "a performance of considerable nuance," in the words of Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter. The film also features John Malkovich as a youth shelter worker, Jeremy Sisto as a pimp, and Ryan Simpkins as the young Leslie.

Writer/director Harris first begin researching the subject of missing and abused children in the 1980s and spent years interviewing victims, parents, and counselors. Around the time he began his research, he also made his first feature film, The Rachel Papers, starring Dexter Fletcher and Ione Skye, which has always been a sentimental favorite of mine because of certain scenes that ring very true to life, so I'm very intrigued by Gardens.