San Sebastian: Three films in the running
by Annika Pham
Renowned UK documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield is making a comeback to feature films with Ghosts, one of the 16 films competing for the Golden Shell at the upcoming San Sebastian Film Festival (September 21-30), alongside UK/Irish co-production A Tiger’s Tail by veteran director John Boorman and the UK/Hungarian film Copying Beethoven by Agnieska Holland.
Shot along the boundaries between fiction and documentary, Ghosts is based on real events that took place in February 2004, when 23 illegal Chinese immigrants died on the northern coast of England while cockle picking. The film stars Chinese former illegal immigrants, including Ai Qin, one of the few survivors of the tragedy. We follow her during her journey from China to England and witness the harsh working conditions she is obliged to face in the effort to secure a better life for her son.
Fully financed by Channel 4, the film was produced by Broomfield and Jez Lewis and executive produced by Phil Hunt and Compton Ross (Head Gear Films) and Charles Finch (Finch & Partners). World sales are being handled by Beyond Films.
Based on an original script written by the director of Deliverance and The General, A Tiger’s Tail, starring Brendan Gleeson and Kim Cattrall, is the story of a successful businessman who discovers someone – an exact copy of himself – is trying to take over his identity and life. The thriller was produced by Boorman with his production partner Kieran Corrigan from Dublin-based Merlin Films. Moviehouse Entertainment is handling worldwide sales.
Copying Beethoven by veteran Polish filmmaker Holland features the tormented relationship between Ludwig von Beethoven (Ed Harris) and his beautiful young copywriter (Diane Kruger) as he struggles to complete his masterful Symphony No. 9.The film was produced in the UK by Copying Beethoven Ltd in association with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. International sales are being handled by Myriad Pictures.
Another UK film will compete in San Sebastian in the Zabaltegi-New Directors section: Cashback, the feature debut of Sean Ellis, based on his Oscar-nominated short film. The film was produced by Left Turn Films in the UK and is being sold internationally by French company Gaumont.
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