Variety is reporting that Amazon Studios has acquired the North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s (Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady) female-driven Irish drama Herself.
Herself recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation fro co-writer and star Clare Dunne. Variety‘s Peter Debruge predicted that it could be a major awards season contender.
The film stars acclaimed Irish actor, Clare Dunne, well known for her theatre work including Lloyd’s all-female version of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, as a single mother determined to build her own home, rebuilding her life in the process.
Sandra (Dunne), on the surface of it, is a young Mum struggling to provide her two young daughters with a warm, safe, happy home to grow up in. Beneath the surface, Sandra has a steely determination to change their lives for the better and when it becomes clear that there are no other options left to her, she decides to build it herself from scratch.
With very little income to speak of and no savings, Sandra must use all her ingenuity to make her ambitious dream a reality. At the same time, she must escape the grip of her possessive ex-partner and keep him away from her and her girls. The lionhearted Sandra draws together a community of friends to support her and lend a helping hand and it is the kindness and generosity of these people and the love of her young daughters that help rebuild her own strength and sense of self.
Herself was co-developed by Element Pictures is run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London, working across production, distribution, and exhibition. Element Pictu... More and Merman and is produced by Academy Award® nominee Ed Guiney (The Favourite, Room, The Lobster) and Rory Gilmartin (Rosie is a contemporary drama directed by Paddy Breathnach from a script by Roddy Doyle, and starring Sarah Greene and Moe Dunford.) for Element, together with BAFTA award-winning actress, writer, producer and director Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce). Clelia Mountford (Motherland, There She Goes) from Merman, Element Pictures’ Andrew Lowe, BBC Films’ Rose Garnett, Cornerstone Films’ Alison Thompson, Mary Burke from the BFI and Lesley McKimm from Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. are executive producers. The film was developed with BBC Films and Screen Ireland and production was backed by Screen Ireland, BBC Films and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).
Dunne originated the story and co-wrote the screenplay together with Malcolm Campbell (What Richard Did). Other cast includes Harriet Walter (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Killing Eve, Succession) and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones, Dublin Murders).
Cornerstone Films had previously closed deals with Youplanet Caramel (Spain), BIM (Italy), Longride (Japan), Lusomundo (Portugal), Forum (Israel) and Italia (Middle East). Element Pictures Distribution will be releasing the film in Ireland and Picturehouse Entertainment in the UK.