Scottish director David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up was acquired for U.S. distribution last week by Tribeca Film. Today, the movie scored eight nominations for the 16th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards. Clio Barnard’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title, The Selfish Giant, follows with seven nods, and three films picked up five each: James McAvoy-starrer Filth; the UK’s Foreign Language Oscar entry, Metro Manila; and Roger Michell’s Le Week-End. Save for Filth, the above titles are selected in the Best British Independent Film category along with Stephen Frears’ Philomena. The latter also scored mentions for lead actress Judi Dench and lead actor Steve Coogan. Coogan is also nominated with Jeff Pope for the film’s screenplay which won the pair a prize in Venice. Another Venice title, Under The Skin, divided critics on the Lido, but received a series of nominations today including for lead actress Scarlett Johansson. Tom Hardy man-in-crisis-in-a-car movie, Locke, picked up three nods for actor, screenplay and editing. Winners will be announced on December 8th at the Old Billingsgate in London. Following is a full list of nominees:
Tribeca Film has acquired North American rights to Scottish director David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up, which stars Jack O’Connell who is making his name quickly known after also landing the lead role as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. O’Connell stars in this one with Ben Mendelsohn and Homeland‘s Rupert Friend, and a 2014 U.S. theatrical release is planned for the pic, which played Telluride and Toronto this fall festival season. O’Connell stars as ultra-violent 19-year-old Eric, who is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father (Mendelsohn). Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist (Friend) who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his life. Independent, who worked with Mackenzie on his Berlin Silver Bear winner Hallam Foe, is repping international sales at AFM. The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Alison Diviney, Acquisitions Manager, and Independent’s Abigail Walsh on behalf of the filmmakers. Fox Searchlight will release the film in the UK in spring 2014.
EXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed Scottish writer/director David Mackenzie, whose latest film Starred Up premiered at Telluride and Toronto. He had been with WME. Starred Up stars Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn and is about a juvenile offender so troubled and violent that he gets “starred up” to the adult prison system of England, where his estranged and equally violent father awaits him. The film makes its European debut at the London Film Festival October 10. Mackenzie previusly helmed Young Adam, Perfect Sense and Mister Foe. All those films and Starred Up were produced by Mackenzie and producing partner Gillian Berrie’s Sigma Films. Sean Gascoine of United Agents continues to rep him in the UK.