Jan Mojto’s Beta Cinema has announced first pre-sales for feature film “The Offing,” which will star and is executive produced by Helena Bonham Carter. Jessica Hobbs, who won an Emmy Award for “The Crown,” directs the U.K.-set English-language project.
Distributors Curzon, Cineart and Madman joined forces and acquired all rights for U.K./Ireland, Benelux, and Australia/New Zealand in a multi-territory deal, fending off robust competition.
The project was one of the hottest titles at the European Film Market, and further deals in major territories will be announced shortly, Beta Cinema said.
“The Offing,” based on a bestselling novel by Benjamin Myers, is set in North-East England, shortly after the war. The story opens on Robert, 16, the shy, nature-loving son of a miner who sets out to see a little more of the world before he follows his father down the pit.
He meets Dulcie Piper, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, bohemian recluse several times his age. Under her eccentric tutelage, his life opens up to food, girls and the transformative beauty of poetry as Dulcie recognizes a potential in Robert that he doesn’t yet see in himself.
But while Dulcie’s cottage and garden by the sea are idyllic, this place holds a tragic secret about Dulcie’s great love. When Robert discovers the truth, his brave and tender friendship compels Dulcie to open her own heart and re-engage with the world.
The screenplay is by Amy Roberts (“The Winter King,” “Call the Midwife”), based on Myers’ novel. Published by Bloomsbury in 2020, “The Offing” became one of the most successful novels that year, and was selected as an Observer Pick, A Times Book of the Year, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, A Reading Agency Book of the Year and an iBook of the Year.
Hobbs is co-directing the HBO limited series “The Palace” together with Stephen Frears. She has directed three seasons of Netflix’s “The Crown,” which has won Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Emmys, and was also executive producer on Season 5.
She won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for “The Crown” Season 4 finale “War,” and was also nominated for an Emmy in 2020 for the finale of Season 3, “Cri De Coeur.”
During her career of more than 30 years in film, television and theater, Bonham Carter was nominated for Academy Awards for her roles in “The Wings of a Dove” and “The King’s Speech.” She is well-known to a worldwide audience for her performances as Beatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies.
“The Offing” is produced by Charlotte Walls and Emily Barttelot at Catalyst Global Media (“Finding Your Feet,” “Ghost Stories”), who developed the film with support from Beta Cinema. Shooting is lined up for later this year.
The deal was brokered by Thorsten Ritter and Tassilo Hallbauer of Beta Cinema and Louisa Dent, Marc Smit and Paul Wiegard on behalf of Curzon, Cineart and Madman.
Curzon, Cineart, Madman commented: ” ‘The Offing’ offers a fresh perspective on post-war England, refusing easy nostalgia and giving us two unique characters striving to create beauty and meaning within a society stifled by years of conflict. Dulcie Piper is a dream role for Helena Bonham Carter, perfectly complementing her immense talent.”
Beta Cinema said: “It is rewarding to see these top-notch distributors team up in order to secure this title. Curzon, Cineart and Madman are amongst the most prestigious players in the industry, and yet they are sending the right signal to the market that these times are about finding synergies and join forces as much as you can in attracting audiences back into cinemas. They will be great partners in an aligned campaign across the territories.”
Bonham Carter is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant. Hobbs is represented by Casarotto Ramsay and Associates and CAA.
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