Maudie ready for Berlinale Special Gala
by Naman Ramachandran
- Aisling Walsh’s award winner stars Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins
Irish director Aisling Walsh’s Maudie [+see also:
film profile] will be presented as a Berlinale Special Gala screening. Written by Sherry White (Relative Happiness), the film, based on the true story of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis, is an unlikely love story in which a curmudgeonly miser hires a tiny, disfigured woman to be his housekeeper, who subsequently goes on to become a well-loved folk artist. The cast includes US star Ethan Hawke, British actress Sally Hawkins as Maud and Canada’s Kari Matchett.
Walsh debuted with the 1985 short Hostage, and Joyriders (1988) was her first feature. Song for a Raggy Boy (2003) was her global breakout success, and she won several festival awards, including Best Film and the Audience Award at Amiens, the Audience Awards at Cherbourg-Octeville and Ljubljana, the Golden Swan at Copenhagen, Best Film at Emden, the Special Jury Prize at Ghent, Best Director at Newport Beach, the Vision in Transit Award at Salerno and the Women in Cinema Award at Seattle. Walsh is also known for her television work and has earned BAFTA TV nominations for Room at the Top, Wallander and Fingersmith.
Maudie world-premiered at Telluride in 2016, followed by Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver and several other festivals. It opened Dublin in January this year. The film arrives at Berlin already festooned with several awards, including Best Atlantic Feature and Best Atlantic Screenwriting at the Atlantic Film Festival, Best Feature at Cinefest Sudbury, and the People’s Choice Awards at Vancouver and Windsor.
The film is a Rink Rat Productions (Canada), Screen Door (Canada) and Parallel Films (Ireland) co-production in association with Corner Piece Capital (US) and Citadel Canadian Films. Telefilm Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation, the Bell Media Harold Greenberg Fund, the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Irish Film Board financed.
Mongrel International is handling international sales and has already racked up several. Sony Pictures Classics has the USA, UK, Latin America, Scandinavia, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and South Africa. Mongrel Media has Canada, while La Belle Company has France, NFP German-speaking Europe, Imagine Film Distribution Benelux, Karma Spain, MegaCom Film the former Yugoslavia, Hagi Poland, Transmission Australia/New Zealand, AUD South Korea, Front Row the Middle East, Shoval Israel, Shochiku Japan and Jaguar airlines.
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