The Santa Barbara Film Festival and EuropaCorp said today that the 32nd annual festival will close with the Lone Scherfig’s comedy drama Their Finest at the Arlington Theatre on Saturday, February 11 in advance of the film’s March 24 stateside release. The Santa Barbara Film Festival runs February 1-11.
Their Finest is written by Gaby Chiappe, based on the novel by Lissa Evans, and stars Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston and Richard E. Grant. Pic follows a female scriptwriter (Arterton) hired by the British ministry to change the female dialogue in the country’s propaganda films during World War II. Her work is soon recognized by a charming lead scriptwriter (Claflin) who teams with her to make an epic feature about the Battle of Dunkirk starring a has-been movie star Ambrose Hilliard (Nighy).
SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said in a statement, “Lone’s deeply touching film is authentic, funny and depicts the power that cinema has to bring people together and share their stories. It was the perfect choice to close this year’s festival.”
Their Finest is produced by Stephen Woolley, Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer and Elizabeth Karlsen. Christine Langan, Ed Wethered, Robert Norris, Ivan Dunleavy, Peter Watson, Zygi Kamasa and Thorsten Schumacher serve as EPs. Pic is produced by Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films.
Their Finest premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and also played the London Film Festival. EuropaCorp bought it out of TIFF with a seven-figure P&A commitment.