EXCLUSIVE: And they’re off at the 2019 Cannes Film Market where Bleecker Street and Topic Studios have jointly boarded U.S rights to Toni Collette and Damian Lewis starrer Dream Horse, produced by American Animals and Three Identical Strangers outfit Raw.
Currently in production in Wales, this is the true story of Jan Vokes (Hereditary star Collette), a cleaner and bartender, who decides on a whim to breed and rear a race horse in her village. She eventually persuades her neighbors to invest in her crazy scheme, and together they name the new foal ‘Dream Alliance’. With little experience but a lot a heart, the collective of townspeople follow ‘Dream’ as he rises through the ranks against all the odds, ultimately pitting all of them against the racing elite in a nail-biting race for the national championship. Billions star Lewis plays Howard Davies, the local accountant Volkes persuades to join her in running the racing syndicate.
The story behind the film was previously told in the documentary Dark Horse, which won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance before being released by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S.
Euros Lyn (Doctor Who) directs Dream Horse, whose supporting cast we can reveal to include Owen Teale (Game Of Thrones), Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey), Nicholas Farrell (The Iron Lady), Sian Philips (Dune) and Karl Johnson (Peterloo). Script comes from Neil McKay (Appropriate Adult).
The U.S deal was negotiated by Kent Sanderson, President, Acquisitions & Ancillary Distribution, Camille Bertrand, Director of Acquisitions and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street and Ryan Heller, SVP, Film & Acquisitions from Topic Studios, with Film4 and Raw.
Film4, Ingenious and Ffilm Cymru Wales are financing the production; as we previously revealed Warner Bros is distributing in the UK. Cornerstone Films is handling international sales and distribution and is selling the film at Cannes
Katherine Butler (American Animals) is producing with Tracy O’Riordan (The Selfish Giant). Executive producers are Piers Vellacott for Raw, Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden for Film4, Peter Touche and Stephen Dailey for Ingenious Media, Pauline Burt for Ffilm Cymru Wales.
Bleecker’s recent releases include Hotel Mumbai, Arctic and Leave No Trace. Topic is at Cannes with Official Selection entry The Climb. Upcoming are Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers drama The Laundromat, starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, and Julius Onah’s thriller Luce, which it acquired out of Sundance in partnership with Neon.