Participant Media has two very different projects with theatrical releases this weekend. The company partnered with producers of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Dame Judi Dench, which Fox Searchlight is taking to theaters in the U.S. ATO Pictures meanwhile collaborated with Participant on its water crisis doc Last Call At The Oasis, which is set for a limited rollout via ATO. Also opening in the specialty arena today are the doc First Position from Sundance Selects and The Perfect Family, starring Kathleen Turner which will has a decidedly more DIY release strategy.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Director John Madden
Writers: Ol Parker (screenplay), Deborah Moggach (novel)
Cast: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel producer Graham Broadbent and his team optioned novelist Deborah Moggach’s These Foolish Things because the concept of “personal crisis” had an appeal. The film centers on British retirees who travel to what they believe is a plush resort in India, only to find out it is less than expected. “We developed the script in the UK and landed [the final version of the script] from Ol Parker,” Broadbent told Deadline. “We approached Participant and asked if it fit in with their [focus] on social issues and then started talking to Fox Searchlight.” After partnering with Participant and Searchlight, there were some re-writes, but the production team was pleased with the results. They also tapped the experience of their producing partners. “Searchlight has had great experience shooting in India with The Darjeeling Limited and The Namesake,” he said.