EXCLUSIVE: Sundance 2018 title Ophelia has been picked up for UK and Ireland distribution by Blue Finch Film Releasing.
U.S. sales outfit Covert struck the deal on the title, which was released by IFC in North America earlier this year. The UK deal was closed between Jim Harvey on behalf of Covert and Mike Chapman for Blue Finch.
A retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Ophelia’s perspective, pic stars Daisy Ridley, Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, George MacKay and Tom Felton.
Claire McCarthy directs from Semi Chellas’ script, based on the novel by Lisa Klein. Producers are Daniel Bobker, Sarah Curtis, Ehren Kruger, and Paul Hanson in association with Freebury Productions Limited. Funding came from Ingenious Media and Bert Marcus Film.
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Fledgling outfit Blue Finch plans to release the film later this year with a theatrical component. The distributor’s first theatrical title, Charming, is currently on release. Movies on the Blue Finch slate include Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum, Blumhouse-produced horror Bloodline and Karen Gillan’s directorial debut, The Party’s Just Beginning. As we first revealed, the company was set up in August last year by distribution execs Mike Chapman and Simon Crowe and tech entrepreneur Matthew Joynes.
The UK remains a highly challenged release landscape, as evidenced by the reality that a movie with this caliber of cast is only securing a deal 18 months after it launched.
Director McCarthy commented on the acquisition, “In this narrative retelling, Hamlet’s tragedy becomes Ophelia’s triumph. This reimagining challenges the idea that victory is based upon another’s fall and raises the question of whether bloodshed and “an eye for an eye” will render us all lost. To an audience who is not an expert in Shakespeare, nor familiar with the brilliance of his masterwork, my hope is this reimagining of Ophelia’s story and the characters around her have new currency and invite a younger audience to experience, or re-experience this timeless story. I’m so excited and honoured to present the film to a UK audience, the home of Shakespeare and of so many of the brilliant actors and creative team on this project.”
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