EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features has bought an untitled original pitch for a contemporary political drama from Maggie Betts, who’ll co-write the script with Andy Bellin. Betts will direct it. Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler of Maven Pictures will produce. Josh McLaughlin will oversee the movie for Focus.
Betts wrote and directed Novitiate, the Maven Pictures-produced film that won her the Breakthrough Director Award when it premiered at Sundance. Sony Pictures Classics bought it there and will release it this fall.
Focus has made a concerted effort to bolster its roster of female directors. Counting the new deal with Betts, it has put six such films in the mix: the Niki Caro-directed The Zookeeper’s Wife, the Julia Decournau-directed Raw, the Sofia Coppola-directed The Beguiled, the Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre-directed Mustang and most recently the Massy Tadjedin-directed Circle Of Treason.
Betts is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Bellin is with WME and Gotham Group.