The Veterans to Launch International Sales on the Feature Film During TIFF
In the first major deal out of the Toronto International Film Festival, Bleecker Street has acquired the U.S. rights to the new British period comedy “Fackham Hall,” which will be directed by BAFTA-nominated Jim O’Hanlon (“Trying,” “Catastrophe”) and boast an all-star ensemble cast including Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (“The Woman King,” the “After’ franchise), Thomasin McKenzie (“Last Night in Soho,” “Jojo Rabbit”), Katherine Waterston (“Inherent Vice,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) and Emma Laird (“A Haunting in Venice,” “The Crowded Room”). Bleecker Street will release the film theatrically in the U.S.
The Veterans will represent the international sales rights on the feature film beginning at the Toronto International Film Festival. Principal photography is set to commence in the UK in early 2024. Additional casting is underway.
“Fackham Hall,” an Equity production, is being produced by Kris Thykier (“I Give It A Year,” “KickAss”) and Danny Perkins (“Greatest Days”), under their joint venture comedy label Mews Films. Bleecker Street’s Andrew Karpen and Kent Sanderson are executive producing alongside Anonymous Content’s Nick Shumaker and David Levine and Jimmy Carr and Patrick Carr. The deal was negotiated by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street with Anonymous Content and CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers.
Written by award-winning comedian Jimmy Carr, Patrick Carr and the Dawson Brothers (“The Bubble”) and in the tradition of classic joke-a-minute spoof comedies like The Naked Gun series and Airplane!, Fackham Hall turns the world of period dramas like “Downton Abbey” and “Gosford Park” on its head. Mixing everything from an upstairs downstairs unlikely relationship between a new porter Eric (Fiennes-Tiffin) and Rose, the youngest daughter of a prominent UK family (McKenzie), the rivalries within the Davenport family, led by its Lord and Lady (Waterston) and the epic failure of their eldest daughter Poppy’s (Laird) wedding to her caddish cousin Archibald, Fackham Hall takes on the very best of the period genre while mercilessly poking fun at it.
Writer and EP Jimmy Carr said: “The British Film Industry does two things very well. Period drama & comedy. Now we didn’t have time to write two movies, so we’ve had to mash the genres together – hope that’s ok. I’m just slightly worried that if you say Fackham Hall in a posh English accent it might be misconstrued, hopefully that won’t be a problem.”
Director Jim O’Hanlon continued: “Fackham Hall is that rarest of rare hen’s teeth – a genuinely funny, fiendishly clever period comedy which even on the page makes you snort your tea out of several orifices at once, whilst still making you care hugely for the young couple at the centre of all the madness. It’s a testament to the quality of the brilliant script by Jimmy, Patrick and the Dawson Brothers that we’ve managed to attract such a fantastic A-List cast who I know are going to make an already hilarious conceit exponentially funnier on the big screen. I can’t wait to start telling them all where to stand …”
O’Hanlon is best known for his directing work on Amazon Prime Video’s Emmy and BAFTA-nominated series Catastrophe, starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, and BBC and Apple TV+’s dramedy “Trying” starring Rafe Spall. Most recently, O’Hanlon directed the film “Your Christmas or Mine” for Amazon Prime Video starring Asa Butterfield.
Bleecker Street recently acquired the U.S. rights to Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s “Waitress: The Musical,” which is set for a nationwide release on Dec. 7 and will release Meg Ryan’s “What Happens Later,” starring Ryan alongside David Duchovny on November 3.
Fiennes-Tiffin is represented by The Artists Partnership, CAA, Vybe Trybe and Johnson, Shapiro, Slewett and Kole. McKenzie is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and Gail Cowan. Waterston by LARK, UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment. Laird by United Agents in the UK, CAA, Anonymous Content, and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman. O’Hanlon by The Artists Partnership and The Gersh Agency. The Dawson Brothers are repped by Lily Williams at Curtis Brown and Tom Lassally at 3 Arts. Jimmy Carr by Hannah Chambers at Chambers Management.
The Veterans’ TIFF slate includes Warwick Thornton’s The New Boy starring Cate Blanchett and Aswan Reid which had its world premiere in Cannes and will have its North American premiere at TIFF; William Sleator’s cult science fiction novel “House of Stairs” starring Jacob Tremblay and directed by Wi Ding Ho with Anonymous Content; Christophe Gans’ “Return to Silent Hill” and Jacques Audiard’s “Emilia Perez” which are both currently in post-production; Walter Salles’ “I’m Still Here” starring Mariana Lima which is currently in production; and the recently released Gerard Butler-starrer “Plane.”
About Bleecker Street
Bleecker Street is an independently financed studio based in New York City that was founded in August 2014 by Andrew Karpen. Bleecker has released more than 60 films and has established itself as a trusted label and champion of original cinema, curating an impressive and lauded slate that extends across all genres. Notable Bleecker releases include Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky,” Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace,” the Oscar-nominated “Captain Fantastic” and “Trumbo,” Independent Spirit Award winner “Mass,” Germany’s 2021 entry for Best International Film, “I’m Your Man.” Most recently, Bleecker Street has released Guy Nattiv’s “Golda” starring Helen Mirren, Marc Turtletaub’s “Jules” starring Ben Kingsley, and “Breaking,” “A Love Song,” “Emily,” “The Starling Girl,” and “The Lesson,” acclaimed feature debuts from directors Abi Damaris Corbin, Max Walker-Silverman, Frances O’Connor, Laurel Parmet and Alice Troughton, respectively.
Bleecker’s upcoming slate includes Meg Ryan’s “What Happens Later” in which she also stars alongside David Duchovny releasing November 3rd, Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson’s “Waitress: The Musical,” Andrew Cumming’s stone age-set thriller, “The Origin,” and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s sci-fi thriller, “I.S.S.” starring Ariana DeBose. The company is also prepping the feel-good comedy “The Fabulous Four” from acclaimed filmmaker Jocelyn Moorhouse, starring Bette Midler and Susan Sarandon. “The Return,” based on Homer’s ancient classic “The Odyssey” and directed by Academy Award nominee Uberto Pasolini and starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, as well as the next film from legendary auteur Mike Leigh are in post-production.
About Mews Films
Mews Films is a new production label housed within Archery Pictures, focused on the development and production of a slate of UK comedy movies for the domestic and international theatrical market. The venture is a partnership with Danny Perkins’s Elysian Film Group.
Mews Films provides development funding for established and emerging talent, with the aim of producing commercial comedy films for theatrical exhibition. The venture focuses on established UK comedy talent as well as seeking to bring diverse voices and talent, whom are currently significantly underrepresented in the mainstream theatrical comedy marketplace, to the fore.
About The Veterans
Powerhouse Sales “Veterans” Vincent Maraval and Kim Fox first partnered in 2016 as a joint venture with Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures. The Santa Monica-based banner serves as a sales agent on English language, mid- and larger-budgeted films for the international theatrical and streaming marketplace.