Latest from Film4 Team

(162 articles)

Amy achieves record-breaking opening weekend

06 Jul, 2015 Productions Posted in:

Amy has recorded the biggest ever opening weekend for a British documentary at the UK box office.

The Amy Winehouse doc from Bafta-winning director Asif Kapadia opened to £519,000 making it the second biggest opening ever for a documentary (excluding concert films), led only by Michael Moore’s 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11. The film has already become the highest-grossing documentary of 2015 and has surpassed Kapadia’s 2010 film Senna, which grossed £375,000 on its opening. Following a nationwide preview on Tuesday 30th June, Amy opened in 133 cinemas this weekend across the UK and Ireland and will expand to over 200 locations from Friday 10th July.

“We are thrilled that audiences have come out en masse during a period of exceptionally fine weather to see Amy. It is testament to not only an incredible film, from some of the UK’s leading filmmakers, but also to the unique talent and enormous lasting appeal of Amy Winehouse – we are delighted that audiences have chosen to celebrate the life of the truly talented musical icon” said Hamish Moseley, Head of Distribution at Altitude Film Distribution. Amy also achieved a successful opening in the US where it opened to $222,015 across six theatres, with an outstanding location average of $37,002.

Amy tells the incredible story of six-time Grammy-winner Amy Winehouse – in her own words. The film features extensive unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim.

For further details and to find a screening near you, visit http://www.amyfilm.co.uk

Principal photography commences on Benedict Andrews’ Blackbird

17 Jun, 2015 Productions Posted in:

From a screenplay by playwright David Harrower, Blackbird will shoot for five weeks across the south of England…

Rooney Mara (Carol), will star opposite Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom, Starred Up, Slow West) in an intense, unflinching examination of damaged love.

In Blackbird, based on Harrower’s celebrated Olivier Award-winning play of the same name, Ray (Mendelsohn) is confronted with his past when the young and beautiful Una (Mara) arrives unannounced at his office. Fifteen years earlier, the two had an illicit affair, for which Ray was arrested and imprisoned. He has since built a new life for himself; she is looking for answers.

Said director Benedict Andrews: “I am relishing the opportunity to bring this vital, highly-charged story to the screen. David has written a beautiful, brutal script and I have two outstanding actors in the roles of Ray and Una. The fragility and extremities of human experience are central to my work- and Blackbird is no exception”.

Blackbird marks the feature film directorial debut of this critically acclaimed Australian stage director. His most recent theatrical productions have included the sell-out London production of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster and Sydney Theatre Company’s touring production of The Maids at the Lincoln Center Festival, New York, which starred Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert.

Blackbird also boasts a strong line-up of talent behind the camera: director of photography Thimios Bakatakis (The Lobster, Dogtooth) production designer Fiona Crombie (Snowtown, Macbeth), hair and make-up designer Jan Sewell (Everest, X-Men: First Class), costume designer Steven Noble (BAFTA-nominated for The Theory Of Everything) and award- winning editor Nick Fenton (Life, Submarine).

From film and theatre impresario Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly for Jean Doumanian Productions (August: Osage County, The Book of Mormon) Blackbird is also produced by Maya Amsellem for WestEnd Films. Executive producers are Kevin Loader (Wuthering Heights, Hyde Park On Hudson), Sharon Harel and Eve Schoukroun of WestEnd Films – who will also handle international sales – and David Kosse and Sam Lavender for Film4. Celia Duval is Co-Producer. Financial backing has been provided by Film4 and Creative Scotland.

Principal photography starts on Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire

09 Jun, 2015 Productions Posted in:

Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Jack Reynor, Sam Riley, Noah Taylor, Enzo Cilenti and Babou Ceesay join Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley in Ben Wheatley’s explosive Film4-backed action thriller Free Fire.

Principal photography began yesterday on Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire. Film4 and the BFI back the film, STUDIOCANAL have rights in the UK and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) have territories including Australia / New Zealand, Latin America, Scandinavia and Spain. Protagonist Pictures are handling international sales. WME is co-representing the North American sale with Protagonist and Film4.

Andy Starke and Ben Wheatley’s Rook Films is producing the film set in Boston in the late seventies. Larson plays a woman who has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Murphy and Smiley) and a gang (led by Hammer and Copley) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart-stopping game of survival ensues. The film is written by Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump.

Ben Wheatley, who has just completed his dystopian epic High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller, is fast becoming one of the UK’s most revered filmmakers after a string of signature movies including Sightseers, Kill List and A Field In England.

David Kosse, Director of Film4, says: “Ben is one of our most exciting and original filmmakers and a great example of the bold British talent we want to support at Film4. What better way to continue our long-standing collaboration with him and Rook films than this explosive thriller.”

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund says, “It’s a testament to the way Ben makes his films and works with actors that he’s attracted such a first-class international cast to strap on the squibs for Free Fire. And Scorsese for heaven’s sake… We’re very excited.”

“Ben Wheatley and Andy Starke have come a long way in the six years since Down Terrace,” said Mike Goodridge, CEO of Protagonist Pictures. “The knockout international cast they have attracted to Free Fire only fuels our confidence in the remaining worldwide sales prospects for their most commercial film yet.”

Chicken plays Edinburgh

29 May, 2015 Posted in: Edinburgh

We’re always pleased to hear of the ongoing success of Film4 talent, so were delighted to be sent news of a new film featuring Yasmin Paige, who first caught audience’s attention with a compelling lead performance in the Film4-backed Submarine and went on to a characterful smaller role in the Film4-backed The Double (both directed by Richard Ayoade). This year she appears in Joe Stephenson’s Chicken, which stars Scott Chambers in the lead role of Richard, a gentle soul whose way of life is threatened when a wealthy family buy the land he lives on with his brother (Morgan Watkins).

Yasmin and Scott

Chicken will premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival, alongside Film4-backed films including Andrew Haigh’s Berlin prize-winner 45 Years and Asif Kapadia’s Cannes smash hit Amy, and it looks like we’re not the only ones excited about the film, its new poster and trailer:

Follow @chicken_film on Twitter

 

Film4 enjoys double Cannes success

26 May, 2015 Productions Posted in: Cannes

Film4-backed films pick up two awards at the Cannes Film Festival…

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in The Lobster

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in The Lobster

At the prestigious festival Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster was awarded the Jury Prize, whilst Rooney Mara shared the Best Actress prize for her role in Todd Haynes’ Carol.

The prize-winning films were also praised by the critics. Carol was labelled “gorgeous, gently groundbreaking… an exquisite work” by the Daily Telegraph, whilst The Times acknowledged that “both Mara and Blanchett are magnificent”.

Of The Lobster the Daily Telegraph said “I haven’t seen anything quite like it before, and I’m still not sure that I have even now.”

Film4 had a record four films In Competition this year, with Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth also receiving their world premieres. The Times described Youth as “a visual banquet of a film… Sorrentino’s film-making is masterful”, whilst Macbeth prompted the Daily Telegraph to muse “Blockbuster battle scenes, spine-tingling staging, utterly believable performances: is this as good as Shakespeare on film gets?”