Oscar® Nominee Sophie Okonedo And James Harkness Join Cast Of COUNTRY MUSIC As Principal Photography Begins
‘COUNTRY MUSIC’ STARTS PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY
LENSING BEGINS IN GLASGOW AND NASHVILLE
JESSIE BUCKLEY ANDAWARD WINNING JULIE WALTERS TO STAR
TOM HARPER TO DIRECT
OSCAR® NOMINEE SOPHIE OKONEDO AND JAMES HARKNESS JOIN CAST
Principal photography has commenced on comedy drama COUNTRY MUSIC, starring Jessie Buckley (“Taboo,” “War & Peace”) and BAFTA Award winning and two time Oscar® nominee Julie Walters (BILLY ELLIOT, upcoming PADDINGTON 2), it was announced today by producer Faye Ward of Fable Pictures.
Oscar® nominated and Tony Award winning actress Sophie Okonedo (HOTEL RWANDA), who has just come off the West End production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia, and James Harkness (ROGUE ONE, MACBETH) have also joined the cast.
BAFTA Award nominee Tom Harper (“War & Peace,” “Peaky Blinders”) is directing the feature film from a script by Nicole Taylor (“The C Word,” “Three Girls”).
Shooting in Glasgow, Scotland and Nashville, Tennessee, Entertainment One (eOne) secured worldwide rights to the project.
COUNTRY MUSIC is funded by the BFI and Creative Scotland with National Lottery money and Film4, all of whom developed the film with Fable Pictures. Faye Ward produces for Fable Pictures with Eugenio Perez as co-producer.
Executive producers include Natascha Wharton for the BFI, Leslie Finlay for Creative Scotland, Polly Stokes for Film4 and Xavier Marchand for Moonriver Content.
Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) is bursting with raw talent, charisma and cheek. Fresh out of jail and with two young kids, all she wants is to get out of Glasgow and make it as a country singer. Her mum Marion (Julie Walters) has had a bellyful of Rose-Lynn’s Nashville nonsense. Forced to take responsibility, Rose-Lynn gets a cleaning job, only to find an unlikely champion in the middle-class lady of the house (Sophie Okonedo). A comedy drama about mothers and daughters, dreams and reality, and three chords and the truth.
The film showcases country music from two continents. Rose-Lynn’s band is led by UK folk royalty Neill McColl, and features Scottish music legends, and founders of The Transatlantic Sessions, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham. “Whispering” Bob Harris, whose BBC Radio 2 show has made him an ambassador for country music in the UK for more than 40 years, will also appear in the film. Alongside an exciting selection of classic and modern country music, the soundtrack features an original song written by platinum-selling singer songwriter Caitlyn Smith, Oscar®-winning actress Mary Steenburgen and Kate York.
“Nicole Taylor has written a cracking script, full of energy and charm. Her witty dialogue will have you in stitches but at its heart, this is a moving, universal story about roots and dreams. Jessie Buckley is a revelation in the lead role and I can’t wait for audiences to hear her sing," said producer Faye Ward.
“Nicole has written the most wonderful script: hugely entertaining, sharp, funny and with something to say about the way we live today. I am thrilled to be bringing it to life with such an exceptional team of people,” said director Tom Harper.
Buckley is repped by United Agents and CAA. Walters is repped by Independent Talent. Okonedo is repped by UTA and Hamilton Hodell. Harkness is repped by Curtis Brown Group. Harper is repped by UTA and 42.
ABOUT FABLE PICTURES
Fable Pictures is a TV and film production company, set up in 2016 by Faye Ward and Eugenio Perez, with Sony Pictures Television taking a minority stake.
The first film to shoot under the new company banner was STAN & OLLIE, which wrapped in May this year. The eOne/BBC Films funded feature was written by Jeff Pope and directed by Jon S. Baird, and stars Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Fable’s slate includes four-part mini-series SAINT MAZIE starring Helena Bonham Carter, based on the novel by Jami Attenberg and adapted by Clara Brennan, and projects with a roster of British talent including Hanif Kureishi, Smita Bhide, Yann Demange, Marianne Elliot and Moira Buffini.
Company founder Faye Ward is one of the UK’s most prominent young producers. 2015 saw the international release of SUFFRAGETTE starring Carey Mulligan, Anne Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep, which she produced for Pathe and Film4. More recently, Faye was part of the producing team of the critically acclaimed drama series THE CROWN for Netflix and Left Bank Pictures.
ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT ONE
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a global independent studio that specialises in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.
Entertainment One’s robust network includes film and television studio The Mark Gordon Company; content creation venture Amblin Partners with Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; newly-launched MAKEREADY with Brad Weston; leading feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures; unscripted television production company Renegade 83; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; and award-winning digital agency Secret Location.
The Company’s rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 100,000 hours of film and television content and approximately 40,000 music tracks.
ABOUT THE BFI
The BFI Film Fund supports world-class UK filmmaking from talent and film development, through to production, and audience development across exhibition, distribution and international sales. With over £50 million of National Lottery funding to invest each year, the BFI is the UK's largest public investor in film.
Films supported by the BFI include last year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner and BAFTA-winning I, Daniel Blake directed by Ken Loach and the Cannes Jury Prize award-winning and BAFTA-nominated American Honey by Andrea Arnold; the 2017 Oscar®-winning The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos; Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom and Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, the opening and closing galas respectively at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival; Viceroy’s House from Gurinder Chadha, which celebrated its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival; and Lady Macbeth directed by William Oldroyd, released earlier this year following its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and UK premiere at last year’s BFI London Film Festival.
Highly anticipated films backed by the BFI include Andy Serkis’ Breathe which will open the BFI London Film Festival; Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here which won Best Screenplay for Ramsay and Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; Rungano Nyoni’s feature debut I Am Not a Witch, which premiered in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight; Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country, winner of the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance 2017 and opened the Edinburgh International Film Festival; Queerama by Daisy Asquith, which opened this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest; Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete; Clio Barnard’s Dark River; Lucy Cohen’s Fly Away; Peter Mackie Burns’ Daphne; Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon’s Even When I Fall and Mercedes Grower’s Brakes.
In production are Mike Leigh’s Peterloo; Idris Elba’s Yardie; Tim Travers Hawkins’ XY Chelsea; Sophie Fiennes’ Grace Jones: Bloodlight And Bami; Wash Westmoreland’s Colette; Nick Park’s Early Man; Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long; Paddy Considine’s Journeyman; Michael Pearce’s Beast; Thomas Clay’s Fanny Lye Deliver’d; Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley; Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War; Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; Toby MacDonald’s Old Boys and Amma Asante’s Where Hands Touch.
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
· Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
· Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
· Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
· Promoting British film and talent to the world
· Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
ABOUT CREATIVE SCOTLAND
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit the website. Follow on Twitter: @creativescots and Facebook.
Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, whether new or established.
Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, David Mackenzie’s Starred Up and Yann Demange’s ’71.
Film4’s recent releases include Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster and Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. Forthcoming releases include Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Michael Pearce’s Beast, Paddy Considine’s Journeyman, Toby MacDonald’s Old Boys, Benedict Andrews’ Una and Baltasar Kormákur’s The Oath. Films in production include Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Bart Layton’s American Animals, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona.