Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country gets Sundance berth
by Naman Ramachandran
- Yorkshire-set romantic drama to have its world premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Feature debutant writer/director Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country will world premiere at Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition in January. Set in Yorkshire, the romantic drama follows an isolated young sheep farmer who numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker employed for the lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets him on a new path.
The film stars British actor Josh O’Connor who made a mark in 2016 ITV’s hit television series The Durrells where he played the young Lawrence Durrell, the revered author best known for his tetralogy The Alexandria Quartet. Other stars include Alec Secareanu (Chosen), and experienced hands Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’ Baby [+see also:
film profile]) and Ian Hart (Native).
The British Film Institute financed God’s Own Country alongside Creative England after the project was developed through the latter’s iFeatures programme. Met Film Post and Paul Webster’s PW Pictures are the other financiers. Jack Tarling produced for Shudder Films and Manon Ardisson for Magic Bear Productions, with Diarmid Scrimshaw and Anna Duffield as executive producers for Inflammable Films. Protagonist Pictures is handling world sales.
Lee made his directing debut with the 2012 short The Farmer’s Wife, which won Best Yorkshire Film at the Leeds International Film Festival. His 2013 short Bradford Halifax London was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance. Lee is also an actor who has appeared in a number of television productions including Midsomer Murders and Casualty, and the features Topsy-Turvy and Me Without You.