Oscar nominees Lesley Manville (Phantom wire, Mrs. Harris goes to Paris) and Ciaran Hinds (Belfast, Tinker Tailer soldier spy) work together for Midwinter breakthe feature film debut of Olivier award-winning British theater director Polly Findlay.
The prestigious project will go to the Marche du Film in Cannes, where Protagonist Pictures will handle worldwide sales.
Adapted from the novel by BAFTA nominee Bernard MacLaverty (Lamb) and written by Nick Payne (The last letter from your lover, We live in time) Midwinter break follows Stella and Gerry, an old married couple who reach a crossroads in their relationship when they take a trip to Amsterdam.
Developed by Shoebox Films in conjunction with Film4, the film is produced by BAFTA Award winner Guy Heeley, whose previous credits include starring Steven Knight’s Tom Hardy. Locke; Joe Wrights Cyrano, starring Peter Dinklage; and Stephen Daldry’s lockdown comedy-drama Together, with James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan. The project was developed with Film4, who will produce and co-finance. Exec producers Midwinter break are David Kimbangi, Ollie Madden and Daniel Battsek for Film4.
“Promoting the most exciting feature debuts from new filmmakers like Polly is steeped in Protagonist DNA,” said Bishop. “Lesley and Ciarán are among the top talents of their generation and the perfect pair to bring to life this emotionally complex exploration of universal relationship dynamics. Guy has put together such a great team and we know moviegoing audiences will immediately engage with this high quality drama when it hits theaters.”
Heeley added: “The prospect of Polly Findlay’s razor-sharp take on this powerful and gripping story with its quietly devastating revelation, and with the downright brilliant Lesley Manville and Ciaran Hinds at its core, is simply thrilling.”
Findlay is an award-winning theater director whose credits include Middle (National Theater 2022), White noise (Bridge, 2021), A number (bridge, 2020), Rutherford and son (National, 2019), Miss Jean Brodie’s bloom (Donmar warehouse, 2018), Get started (West End, 2018), The Alchemist (RSC, 2016), As you Like It (National Theatre, 2015), War horse (National Theatre, 2013) and antigone (National Theatre, 2012). In 2012, she was joint winner of the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment (with Derren Brown) for Svengali. She is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Limited.
Findlay is a British theater director and winner of the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for Derren Brown’s Svengali. She has directed seven productions for the National Theater and four for the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she is an associate artist.
Midwinter break joins Protagonist’s Cannes market slate, which includes two adaptations: the family adventure Flavia de Luce starring Isla Gie and Martin Freeman and the romantic comedy This time next year starring Sophie Cookson and Lucien Laviscount – alongside Jules, the UFO comedy starring Ben Kingsley.