The 67th Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale has announced the final films for its Competition and Berlinale Special strands. Aisling Walsh’s Irish/Canadian co-production Maudie will have its European Premiere as a Berlinale Special Gala at the Friedrichstadt-Palast.

Maudie is based on the life of Nova Scotia folk artist, Maud Lewis, and is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family. She also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. Maudie charts Everett’s efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter.

Maudie is directed by Song for a Raggy Boy director Walsh and written by Sherry White (CrackieRelative Happiness).The film shot in Canada with Guy Godfree as cinematographer. Post-production took place in Windmill Lane, with Stephen O’Connell as editor. Susan Mullen of Parallel Film Productions produces, alongside Small Shack Productions, and Painted House Films. Financing comes from the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann, Mongrel Media, Telefilm Canada, Newfoundland Film Development Corporation, Ontario Media Development Corporation, The Harold Greenberg Fund, and Corner Piece Capital.

The film joins compatriots The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy, A Tall Tale, Atlantic, Return to Montauk, and Everything at the festival. Here at home, Maudie opens the Audi Dublin International Film Festival on February 16th.

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