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BBC FILMS UNVEILS UPCOMING SLATE AT CANNES

* Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin in competition at Cannes

* New projects from Lone Scherfig, James Marsh, Tom Bradby and Mike Newell

Swallows and Amazons and Peter Pan In Scarlet for a new generation

16th May, Cannes.  After the fantastic reception in Cannes for We Need to Talk About Kevin, award-winning BBC Films’ new slate confirms their commitment to developing new talent and cements their relationships with filmmakers they have worked with in the past. There is also an ambitious family remit bringing classic novels and inspiring new stories to the younger generations.

Acclaimed theatre director, Rufus Norris, will direct his first feature, Broken, which is a bold and gripping adaptation by Mark O’Rowe of Daniel Clay’s novel.  A very modern take on the themes of Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird, the film is about a terrifying incident which divides a community, sowing distrust and hatred but in this ultimately uplifting tale the power of innocence brings about an amazing reversal.  Cillian Murphy has joined the cast and Dixie Linder, Nick Marston and Tally Garner will produce.

BBC Films is also working with Morgan Matthews, the BAFTA winning young documentary director who will move into feature films with a dramatic adaptation of his 2005 BBC documentary Beautiful Young Minds. Written by James Graham and developed by the UK Film Council, The X and Y Factoris a rites of passage story about a group of gifted British teenagers competing at the International mathematical Olympiad. Both tender and funny, it follows the story of one maths prodigy trying to discover a formula for love.

In addition to nurturing new directors, BBC Films is delighted to be returning to directors with whom they have previously enjoyed great success.

Following An Education, BBC Films is thrilled to be working with Lone Scherfig again on Martin Sherman’s adaptation of Rose Tremain’s Music and Silence.  Tremain’s award winning book is set in the court of Danish King Christian IV and tells the story of a beleaguered King fighting to save his kingdom and his disintegrating marriage. At the same time, a young servant couple, pledged to the King and his notorious wife, Kirsten, find themselves falling deeply and passionately in love with each other, only to be torn apart, like Romeo and Juliet, when Kirsten is banished from court. The producers are Dan Lupovitz and Alexandra Stone.

BBC Films is excited to be working with Oscar®-winning director James Marsh (Man on Wire) again following the recently completed Project Nim for the BBC, which won the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.   He will direct Shadow Dancer (working title), the moving tale of a young mother in the Irish Republican movement, based on a script by political journalist Tom Bradby from his own novel. Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, Aidan Gillen and Gillian Anderson will star in the thriller which is due to shoot early summer. Wild Bunch are handling international sales on the film, Paramount Pictures will release in the UK. Chris Coen (Funny Games US), Andrew Lowe (This Must be the Place) and Ed Guiney (The Guard) will produce.

Tom Bradby brings his inside knowledge as one of the UK’s top political journalists to Defence of the Realm for BBC Films, an updated remake of the BAFTA-honoured film. The film is a tense political thriller following a dogged reporter on the trail of an international scandal who discovers that there are dangerous limits to the government’s tolerance for freedom of speech. It will be produced by Lynda Myles and Jason Newmark of Newscope Films.

BBC Films is teaming up with one of Britain’s most respected directors Mike Newell on Great Expectations. Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen at Number 9 Films will be producing the adaptation by novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls. The cast includes Helena Bonham-Carter and Jeremy Irvine and will start shooting in the UK in September.

Family entertainment also features strongly in the upcoming slate. BBC Films and Harbour Pictures are developing a new, big screen adaptation for a modern family audience of Arthur Ransome’s masterpiece Swallows and Amazons, which is the classic story of four young children who set out on a boat in the Lake District to live alone on an island. Tom and Charlie Guard (The Uninvited) will direct from Andrea Gibb’s (Dear Frankie) screenplay, and Nick Barton (Calendar Girls) will produce.

Paul King (Bunny and the Bull) brings his unique imagination and screen writing skills to bear on Geraldine McCaughrean’s Peter Pan In Scarlet, the official sequel to the J M Barrie classic. With Neverland under threat from dark forces Pan has to call on some old friends to help restore order to the magical world. Infused with the mischievous spirit of Barrie’s original, this restores a distinctly British flavour to the famous story and will be produced by Stewart Mackinnon at Headline Pictures.

Still staying with the young audience but on a more irreverent note, BBC Films is launching the hilarious comedy Sex Education with Ruby Films: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets The Inbetweeners. Last year’s Brit List winner is a disastrous journey through the perilous maze of schoolyard politics and schoolboy fantasies, throwing the charmingly naive Tom into the sexual complexities of the adult world where he discovers that sometimes getting what you wish for is the last thing that you need.

Following on from the success of 3D dance sensation StreetDance, BBC Films and Vertigo Films are reteaming on StreetDance 2. Directors Max and Dania return to direct. Our new hero falls in love with a beautiful Latin dancer as he discovers the magic, power and passion of dancing ‘a deux’ for the ultimate global dance off.

Due to start shooting in July, Now Is Good is the uplifting and inspiring story of a young girl’s battle to taste life and love before she dies. Ol Parker will direct his own adaptation of Jenny Downham’s Before I Die. Produced by Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin, the film will star Dakota Fanning, Jeremy Irvine, Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams.

Upcoming releases for 2011/2012: The First GraderPerfect SenseThe AwakeningProject NimJane EyreWe Need to Talk About KevinYou InsteadCoriolanusMy Week With Marilyn and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

“The bold ambition of Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, which has been passionately embraced by critics in Cannes, represents what we are trying to do across the entire slate at BBC Films – supporting brilliant talent and finding fresh, original, challenging and entertaining stories. The rich and diverse line up of releases in the year to come represents BBC Films’ determination to deliver a truly eclectic range of films that really excites British audiences.”  Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films.

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