UK-based financier Cascade Pictures, which launched at Toronto in September, has boarded its first feature, The Lady Who Went Too Far. Oscar-winning King’s Speech writer David Seidler is adapting the screenplay from Kristen Ellis’ biography, Star Of The Morning. The King’s Speech‘s Gareth Unwin, of Bedlam Productions, is producing. Story follows the true tale of Britain’s Lady Hester Stanhope, who rejected London society in the early 1800s to travel across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East, where she played a major role in stifling Napoleon’s advances towards India. The pioneering Stanhope was a controversial figure in her time and the film will mix elements of romance, espionage and adventure. A production start is being eyed for later this year. Bedlam is producing with support from Cascade, the BFI Film Fund, British Film Company, HW Buffalo & RPTVA. Cascade CEO Mark Fisher says, “Working with Gareth and David to bring this enthralling story to screen is the best opening scene for Cascade as a company.”
At the Toronto Film Festival last month, UK-based Cascade Pictures announced its intentions to package films through a mix of gap and debt finance, international soft money options and pre-sales. Today, via its Cascade Media Development arm, the company is launching the Writers’ Couch, an initiative that aims to help screenwriters develop projects and move them into production. Scribes, who must be UK residents and must not have representation, will be invited to pitch their completed scripts once a month to development execs at Cascade who will judge projects on writing quality, probability for commercial or critical success and how they fit with Cascade’s aim to produce genre projects for the UK and international market. Cascade has previously said it will support low to mid-high budgets in its first year before moving into the higher-end range.
TORONTO – Friday 7 September 2012. Cascade Pictures, a new film and television finance company based out of the UK is making its first formal move into the industry this week with plans to launch new development and production funds, two first-look deals and a presence at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Mark Fisher, former Chief Financial Officer of the Icon UK Group, set up the Cascade group of companies earlier this year, with Cora Palfrey, formerly the European Chief Financial Officer of the Exclusive Media Group, coming on board as Chief Operating Officer, and Daniel Campos Pavoncelli, from Fandango Portobello joining as Acquisitions and Development Executive.