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The Duchess

BBC Films' strong representation at Toronto Festival



The Duchess, Good, Of Time And The City, Is There Anybody There?, Easy Virtue all confirmed

 

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas set for San Sebastian

 

Edge Of Darkness, Fish Tank, Tormented and Nativity shoot

 

BBC Films, the feature film-making arm of the BBC, will be well represented at this autumn's key festivals.

 

Saul Dibb's The Duchess enjoyed a world premiere last night (3 September) in London before its North American bow at the Toronto Film Festival.

 

The film, starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Hayley Atwell, Charlotte Rampling and Dominic Cooper, is a very contemporary tale of fame, notoriety and the search for love, based around that female icon of her time, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

 

Producers are Michael Kuhn and Gabrielle Tana. Pathé will open the film across the UK on 5 September, and handle world sales.

 

The other BBC Films titles set for Toronto are:

 

Vicente Amorim's Good, starring Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Steven Mackintosh and Mark Strong, and produced by Miriam Segal. Based on the acclaimed play by C.P. Taylor, it is the story of an academic in Thirties Germany whose work and life become enmeshed in the rise of the Nazis. Lionsgate will release in the UK;

 

John Crowley's second feature after his acclaimed debut Boy A is Is There Anybody There?, starring Michael Caine, David Morrissey, Anne-Marie Duff, Leslie Phillips and Bill Milner – the funny, moving story of a young boy who lives in an old people's home and strikes up an unexpected friendship with a retired magician. David Heyman, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf produce. Odyssey Entertainment will be handling international sales for the film;

 

Stephan Elliott's Easy Virtue, adapted from Noel Coward's stage comedy about a knowing older woman and her marriage to a younger man, stars Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ben Barnes. It is produced by Barnaby Thompson, Joe Abrams and James D Stern. Odyssey is handling international sales, Ealing Studios International US sales and Pathé will release in the UK on 7 November.

 

Both Toronto and San Sebastian bound is Terence Davies' Cannes smash Of Time And The City, both a love song and eulogy to the director's birthplace – Liverpool.

 

It is a response to memory, reflection and the experience of losing a sense of place as skylines change and time takes its toll.

 

Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter are the producers, and the film will open in the UK on 31 October through bfi Distribution.

 

After its world premiere in London on 11 September, Mark Herman's The Boy In Striped Pyjamas will screen at San Sebastian.

 

Adapted by Herman from the best-selling book by John Boyne, the film is a story seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of the Second World War.

 

This unforgettable tale follows an unlikely friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant, and Shmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed-wire fence, their friendship grows and their lives become inescapably intertwined.

 

A strong cast includes David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, Rupert Friend and Sheila Hancock.

 

David Heyman is the producer. Miramax Films will release through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK on 12 September.

 

Following a European premiere at the recent Locarno Film Festival, Julian Jarrold's Brideshead Revisited will open across the UK on 3 October, released by Miramax Films through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK.

 

Starring Ben Whishaw, Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon, the film is a heartbreaking romantic epic adapted from Evelyn Waugh's novel, one of the truly great works of fiction of the 20th century.

 

Robert Bernstein, Douglas Rae and Kevin Loader are the producers.

 

James Marsh's Man On Wire, which won both the Jury and Audience awards at this year's Sundance, had a great opening through Icon on 1 August.

 

A wow with critics and audiences alike, the film has taken in excess of £640,000 in the UK and $1,125,000 in the US so far.

 

A feature length documentary produced by Wall to Wall in association with Red Box Films for Discovery Films, BBC and the UK Film Council, the film is a dramatic retelling of Philippe Petit's daring, and illegal, scheme to walk the high-wire between New York's twin towers as they were completing construction in 1974 – the artistic crime of the 20th century.

 

BBC Films' co-productions currently shooting include:

 

Edge Of Darkness, directed by Martin Campbell and starring Academy Award winners Mel Gibson and Robert De Niro. Based on the BAFTA Award-winning BBC mini-series of the same name, Edge Of Darkness is produced by Academy Award winner Graham King and Michael Wearing and developed by BBC Films. The film is an emotionally-charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. A policeman tries to discover why his daughter was killed against a backdrop of an intense national security alert;

 

Debbie Isitt's Nativity starring Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Jason Watkins and Marc Wootton and produced by Nick Jones – a heart-warming tale of how nothing can get in the way of the true spirit of Christmas;

 

Jon Wright's directorial debut Tormented, starring Alex Pettyfer, April Pearson, Larissa Wilson, Mary Nighy and Dimitri Leonidas, and produced by Arvind Ethan David, Tracy Brimm, Kate Myers and Cavan Ash – a witty and shocking tale of a bullied teenager who comes back from the dead to take his revenge on his tormentors;

 

Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, the follow up to her Oscar-winning short Wasp and her Cannes award-winning Red Road, starring Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Katie Jarvis, Rebecca Griffiths and Harry Treadaway and produced by Kees Kasander – the story of Mia, a volatile and trouble prone 15-year-old, and her mother, who one hot day brings home a stranger who promises to change everything and bring love into their lives.

 

BBC Films also has an impressive and varied list of projects in post production:

 

Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road based on the celebrated novel by Richard Yates, re-unites five-time Oscar nominee Kate Winslet and three-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, for the first time since the 1997 all-time box office hit and Oscar-winning Titanic, to play the leading roles in this heart-rending story of thwarted passion and the search for fulfilment. Producers are John N Hart, Scott Rudin, Sam Mendes and Bobby Cohen.

 

Armando Iannucci's razor-sharp political comedy In The Loop, starring Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee and Steve Coogan (to be seen in Sunshine on BBC One later this year), and produced by Kevin Loader and Adam Tandy. The US President and UK Prime Minister suddenly fancy a war. But it'll be quick this time. Promise! The US General Miller doesn't think so and the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster, agrees with him. But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on prime-time TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington, DC.

 

Jane Campion's Bright Star stars Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw (seen on BBC One in Criminal Justice), this is an intense exploration of the two-year relationship between the 18-year-old Fanny Brawne and 23-year-old romantic poet John Keats. Jan Chapman and Caroline Hewitt produce. Pathé will release in the UK, and handle world sales.

 

Lone Scherfig's An Education, starring Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Cara Seymour, Dominic Cooper, Olivia Williams and Emma Thompson. Nick Hornby wrote the script about a 17-year-old girl who meets an older man in Sixties London. Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey produce, with Odyssey Entertainment handling worldwide sales

 

Gareth Carrivick's debut feature Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, in which three ordinary blokes may hold the fate of the entire world in their hands when they discover a rift in the space-time continuum in the gents' of their local pub. The film stars Chris O'Dowd, Marc Wootton, Dean Lennox Kelly and Anna Faris – Shaun Of The Dead meets Back To The Future. Producers are Neil Peplow and Justin Anderson Smith.

 

Michael Sheen stars as Clough in Peter Morgan's screenplay The Damned United, directed by Tom Hooper. The film tells the passionate and dramatic story of controversial and gifted football manager Brian Clough and his turbulent 44-day period in 1974 as manager of Leeds United. An impressive supporting cast features Tim Spall, Colm Meaney and Jim Broadbent. Andy Harries produces with Sony Pictures Entertainment taking worldwide rights and Screen Yorkshire co-producing.

 

Notes to Editors

 

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas: Miramax Films in Association with BBC Films present a Heyday Films production.

 

Brideshead Revisited: Miramax Films, the UK Film Council, HanWay Films and BBC Films present in association with 2 Entertain, Screen Yorkshire an Ecosse Films Production

 

Bright Star: Pathé Productions, Film Finance Corporation Australia, BBC Films and the UK Film Council present in association with the New South Wales Film and Television Office and Hopscotch International.

 

The Damned United: Columbia Pictures Industries Inc, BBC Films in association with Screen Yorkshire present a Left Bank Pictures production.

 

The Duchess: Pathé Productions and BBC Films present in association with Pathé Renn Production and BIM Distribuzione, A Qwerty Films/Magnolia Mae Production.

 

Easy Virtue: Ealing Studios in association with Endgame Entertainment, Odyssey Entertainment, and BBC Films present a Fragile Film in association with Joe Abrams Productions and Prescience.

 

Edge Of Darkness: Co-produced by Graham King Productions and BBC Films.

 

An Education: BBC Films presents a Finola Dwyer/Wildgaze Films Production in association with EndgameEntertainment.

 

Fish Tank: BBC Films and the UK Film Council in association with Limelight present a Kees Kasander production.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel: BBC Films and HBO Films present a Doglamp production.

 

Good: Aramid Entertainment presents a Good Films Production, in co-production with Miromar Entertainment and Laurin Entertainment. In association with Lipsync Productions LLP, Mixer Productions Brazil, 120db Films and BBC Films.

 

In The Loop: BBC Films and UK Film Council present in association with Aramid Entertainment an Armando Iannucci film.

 

Is There Anybody There?: BBC Films and Big Beach present a Heyday Films/Big Beach Production.

 

Man On Wire: Discovery Films, BBC, The UK Film Council present a Wall To Wall Production in association with Red Box Films.

 

Nativity: BBC Films and Screen West Midlands present in association with Limelight, a Mirrorball Films Production of a Debbie Isitt film.

 

Of Time And The City: Northwest Vision and Media & Digital Departures presents in association with the Liverpool Culture Company and BBC Films a Hurricane Films Production.

 

Revolutionary Road: DreamWorks Pictures presents in association with BBC Films, an Evamere Entertainment, BBC Films, Neal Street production.

 

Tormented: BBC Films, Screen West Midlands and Slingshot present a Forward Films/Slingshot production.

 

JB3

 

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Category: BBC Films
Date: 04.09.2008
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