Film4 Productions

Clio Barnard’s Dark River starts shooting

20 Jun, 2016 Productions Posted in: Directors

Principal photography has commenced on Dark River, the third feature film from writer/director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), starring Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Saving Mr Banks), Mark Stanley (Game of Thrones, Kajaki) and Sean Bean (The Martian, The Lord of The Rings).

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Clio Barnard

Dark River is produced by Clio Barnard’s long-term producer Tracy O’Riordan (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant) of Moonspun Films with Left Bank Pictures’ Lila Rawlings, Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie executive producing.  The film is backed by Film4, the BFI Film Fund, Screen Yorkshire and the Wellcome Trust and was developed by Film4, the BFI and the Wellcome Trust. Protagonist Pictures is handling world sales. Shooting will take place on location in Yorkshire for five weeks.

Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns to her home village for the first time in 15 years, to claim the tenancy to the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Once there she is confronted by a brother (Mark Stanley) she barely recognises, worn down by years of trying to keep the farm going, who is naturally hostile to her arrival and her claim over the tenancy. Their dispute unearths traumatic memories for Alice, memories which have remained dormant for years but which now threaten both of their futures.

Writer/director Clio Barnard has established herself as one of the UK’s most distinctive cinematic voices following rave reviews and awards for her feature-length debut The Arbor, a documentary about the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar, as well as her sophomore feature The Selfish Giant. The latter film followed two scrappy 13-year-old working-class friends in Bradford seeking their fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal. The film was a huge critical success on its release, launching at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and winning the British Film of the Year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards along with a host of other festival awards.

Clio Barnard was the first recipient of the Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship, in partnership with BFI and Film4, in 2013. Dark River was developed during her year in residence at Wellcome when she had unparalleled access to experts in traumatic memory.

Dark River reunites many of Clio Barnard’s long-term collaborators including production designer Helen Scott (Fish Tank, Red Road, The Selfish Giant); casting director Amy Hubbard (The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Homeland, The Arbor) winner of a BIFA for her casting of The Selfish Giant; costume designer Matthew Price (Wild Bill, The Arbor, The Selfish Giant); Tim Barker (The Deep Blue Sea, Bronson) responsible for sound on both The Arbor and The Selfish Giant; and Nick Fenton (Submarine, The Double) responsible for editing both The Arbor and The Selfish Giant.

‘Dark River is a visceral, haunting and lyrical story and we’re delighted to have assembled our regular collaborators to help bring Clio’s beautifully crafted script to life and welcome DOP, Adriano Goldman to the team. Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley’s fearless commitment to the roles of siblings Alice and Joe leading up to the shoot is exciting to behold’ says producer Tracy O’Riordan.

Film4-backed film deals at Cannes 2016

23 May, 2016 Productions Posted in: Cannes, Uncategorized

In addition to Andrea Arnold’s American Honey taking home the Jury Prize, Film4 are thrilled to report that a number of deals were announced for Film4-backed films in Cannes…

 

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

A24 bought US rights, and Haut et Court snapped up French rights, to the next film from Yorgos Lanthimos. It was also announced that the film will reunite Colin Farrell with the director of The Lobster, which won the 2015 Cannes Jury Prize. Farrell will play Steven, a charismatic surgeon whose ideal life starts to fall apart, after a teenage boy who is trying to integrate him into his broken family starts to behave increasingly sinisterly. Inspired by a Euripides tragedy, the film was developed by Film4 in collaboration with Element Pictures, and is co-financed by Film4 and New Sparta under a partnership brokered by HanWay Films. The film is expected to begin shooting in August.

LEAN ON PETE

A24 picked up North American rights to British director Andrew Haigh’s (45 Years) next film ahead of its shoot in the US this summer. Other deals secured by Le Bureau Sales and Celluloid Dreams on the film included the UK (Curzon Artificial Eye), France (Ad Vitam), Benelux (Lumière), Greece (Seven Films), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Italy (Teodora), South Korea (Beetwin) and China (DD Dream). Film4 supported the development of the film with The Bureau, and are backing the film alongside The Bureau and the BFI. Haigh will direct his own adaptation of Willy Vlautin’s acclaimed novel about 15-year-old teenager Charley, as he embarks on a perilous journey in search of his long lost aunt and a possible home, his only companion the stolen racehorse Lean on Pete.

AMERICAN HONEY

Focus Features acquired the majority of key international territories – including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, UK, Italy and Scandinavia – to Andrea Arnold’s widely praised Competition entry. Sales agent Protagonist Pictures had already pre-sold to France (Diaphana) and A24 (US) ahead of the festival. The film is a Parts & Labor / Pulse Films Production in association with ManDown, which Film4 co-developed and co-financed alongside Maven Pictures and the BFI.

Andrea Arnold’s Film4-backed American Honey wins Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival

23 May, 2016 Productions Posted in: Cannes

Film4-backed American Honey was among the prizes at the Cannes Film Festival last night, taking home the Jury Prize for British director Andrea Arnold, and earning a Commendation from the Ecumenical Jury.

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It’s the third time Cannes-favourite Arnold has won the Jury Prize, following wins in 2006 for Red Road and 2009 for Fish Tank. She also served on the Jury for the Main Competition in 2012, and chaired the International Critics’ Week Jury in 2014.

Film4’s Head of Creative Rose Garnett commented: “We are so thrilled that Andrea Arnold’s American Honey was selected In Competition at Cannes, and that the Festival’s Jury has seen fit to recognise the film with the Jury Prize. American Honey is a passionate and brilliant odyssey that takes us into the hearts and minds of the young and disenfranchised in modern America. Film4 is proud to have supported the project from its inception. Andrea is one of the great directors working today – and American Honey is a landmark film that places British talent at the centre of the world cinema stage.”

American Honey tells the story of Star (Sasha Lane), a teenage girl from a troubled home, who runs away with a travelling sales crew that drives across the American mid-west selling magazine subscriptions door to door. Finding her feet in this gang of teenagers, one of who is Jake (Shia LaBeouf), she soon gets into the group’s lifestyle of hard partying, law-bending and young love.

Production wraps on Toby MacDonald’s coming-of-age comedy Old Boys

05 May, 2016 Productions Posted in:

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Inspired by the classic Cyrano de Bergerac story, Old Boys marks the feature debut for MacDonald and producer Luke Morris, the team behind BAFTA-nominated short films, Je t’aime John Wayne and Heavy Metal Drummer and is written by Luke Ponte (Je t’aime John Wayne) and Freddy Syborn (Bad Education).

Film4 and the BFI co-developed and co-financed the film. Creative England and Film Väst, in partnership with Erik Hemmendorff at Plattform Produktion additionally contributed towards production finance. International sales are being handled by WestEnd Films.

Alex Lawther, critically acclaimed for his role as the young Alan Turing in the multi-award winning The Imitation Game, leads an impressive roster of talented young actors, including César and Lumière-nominated French actress, Pauline Étienne (The Nun, Eden), rising star Jonah Hauer-King, currently starring opposite Bel Powley in Ashes in the Snow, Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds, The Program) and Joshua McGuire (Mr. Turner, About Time).

In this vibrant school-set re-working of Cyrano, an awkward but imaginative pupil (Alex Lawther) helps the handsome but spectacularly dim school-hero (Jonah Hauer-King) pursue the fiery daughter (Pauline Étienne) of a visiting French teacher (Denis Ménochet).

“We’ve re-worked the Cyrano story for the Harry Potter generation and what translates is a fresh, offbeat comedy, full of heart. We are passionate about bringing it to the big screen through Toby’s vision and our talented cast and crew.” commented Luke Morris, Producer

“Film4 are proud to be a part of this very funny and touching film. We’re thrilled to have taken it into production with such an exciting cast and to support Toby’s unique, distinctive vision,” commented Sam Lavender, Executive Producer on behalf of Film4.

Natascha Wharton, Senior Production and Development Executive, BFI commented: “Toby has established himself as a stand-out talent through his BAFTA nominated shorts and we are delighted to be supporting him on his first feature, an idiosyncratic teen comedy with a brilliant young cast.”

Paddy Considine’s Journeyman is now in post production

04 May, 2016 Productions Posted in: Cannes, Directors

Paddy Considine’s second feature Journeyman wrapped in mid April after a six-week shoot in Sheffield, Leicester, Doncaster and the surrounding areas. Post production is now underway, and Cornerstone Films will screen a first-look promo at Cannes in May…

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Paddy Considine not only wrote and directed the film but also stars alongside Jodie Whittaker (One Day), Anthony Welsh (My Brother The Devil), Tony Pitts (War Horse) and Paul Popplewell (’71). Many of the supporting cast make their acting debuts and take on roles that closely mirror their actual professions with appearances from boxers, boxing commentators, nurses and an occupational therapist. Journeyman was developed and shot in close collaboration with the boxing community and medical profession.

Cornerstone Films is handling the international sales and distribution and will screen the first-look promo from Journeyman in Cannes.

The film will be released in 2017 and is financed by Film4, the BFI, Screen Yorkshire, and the Wellcome Trust with STUDIOCANAL on board to handle the UK release.

Producer Diarmid Scrimshaw said of the shoot, “Paddy took to simultaneously writing, directing and acting like it was meant to be. He delivered a beautiful performance whilst working brilliantly with the other actors and crew. We are making another very special film here and it is clear that Paddy has a world class skill and capacity that he’s capable of exercising on multiple fronts at once.”

Journeyman tells the story of middleweight boxing champion Matty Burton. As he approaches the end of his career he knows that he must make his money and get out of the game, to secure a home and future with his wife and baby daughter. After a titanic fight with the brash and controversial Andre Bryte, Matty collapses on his living room floor, a delayed reaction to a devastating punch. Awaking from the coma, the real fight begins. Suffering from memory loss and with his personality altered, Matty must begin to piece his life back together as his world disintegrates.

Journeyman is a powerful and beautiful story about loss and, ultimately, triumph. It’s about our identity, and how in life we sometimes have to dig deep into our soul to discover who we really are.