Year: 2014

New Sparta Films is delighted to announce its involvement in the financing of Miss You Already

Catherine Hardwicke directs Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper, Paddy Considine and Jacqueline Bisset in Morwenna Banks’ story of love, loss and laughter

London, 5 September, 2014: Drew Barrymore (“Grey Gardens”) and Toni Collette (“The Way Way Back”) star as best friends in MISS YOU ALREADY, with Dominic Cooper (“My Week with Marilyn”) and Paddy Considine (“Pride”) as the men in their lives. Jacqueline Bisset (“Welcome To New York”) rounds out the stellar cast as Collette’s mother. Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”, “Thirteen”, “Lords of Dogtown”) directs from a screenplay by British writer and actor Morwenna Banks (“Damned”, “The Announcement”). Principal photography commences in the UK on September 7th, 2014, with shooting largely focused in London and later moving to the dramatic Yorkshire Moors.

Milly (Collette) and Jess (Barrymore) have been best friends forever. They’ve shared everything since they were kids – secrets, clothes, laughs, substances, boyfriends – but now, they are trying to be grown-ups. Milly has a high-flying job and lives in a beautiful townhouse with husband Kit (Cooper) and their two kids. Jess is a town planner and she and her boyfriend Jago (Considine) live on a bohemian houseboat on a London canal. Their friendship is as rock solid as ever. That is until Jess struggles to have a much longed-for baby and Milly finds out she has breast cancer. How do you share that?

Says Hardwicke: ‘Miss You Already explores the ups and down of an intense friendship. With our fearless actors, we’re taking this very personal story on a wild ride.’

MISS YOU ALREADY is produced by Christopher Simon of SFilms who added: ‘We couldn’t be more delighted with this exceptional cast and the wonderful Catherine who is bringing Morwenna’s much loved script to life.

Executive producers are Morwenna Banks, Catherine Hardwicke, Samantha Horley, James Norrie, Barnaby Southcombe, Nicki Hattingh, Anne Sheehan, Sheryl Crown, Lisa Lambert, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler.

International sales are being handled by The Salt Company, who share North American sales duties with CAA. MISS YOU ALREADY will be distributed in the United Kingdom by Entertainment One (eOne).

Finance for the film has been provided by London based New Sparta Films and Exponential Media.

Nicki Hattingh, co-founder and Managing Director of New Sparta Films, said; ‘New Sparta Films is absolutely delighted to be involved in the financing of such a wonderful film.  The director, cast and production team are first class and we are confident they will deliver an amazing film from such a beautiful script – it’s a story that every teenage girl and woman will recognise and respond to.’

Hardwicke is repped by Manage-Ment and CAA. Banks is repped by The Agency and CAA. Barrymore is repped by CAA and Collette is repped by CAA and Jen Turner at Viking Entertainment. Cooper is repped by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin and CAA. Considine is repped by Troika and CAA. Bisset is repped by Steve Kenis & Company.

New Sparta Films is delighted to announce its involvement in the financing of Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales

Producers Matteo Garrone, Jean Labadie and Jeremy Thomas have confirmed that Toby Jones (Captain America, Hunger Games, Mockingjay I and II, Harry Potter series) and John C Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy, Boogie Nights, Magnolia), together with Alba Rohrwacher and other Italian actors, have joined Salma Hayek (Frida, Desperado, Once Upon A Time In Mexico) and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Eastern Promises) in the cast of Tale of Tales.

Directed by Garrone, the film is inspired by and loosely based on Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile, a gifted 17thC Neopolitan author whose fairytales are universally recongnised as the forerunners of worldwide fantasy literature.  Gorrone co-wrote the story and screenplay with Edoardo Albinati, Ugo Chiti and Massimo Gaudioso as a fantastic journey through the baroque era, narrating the stories of three different kingdoms and their respective sovereigns.

From the bitter quest of a jealous Queen (Salma Hayek) who forfeits the life of her husband (John C Reilly), to two mysterious sisters yearning for youth in order to provoke the passion of a King (Vincent Cassel), to a King obsessed with a giant Flea (Toby Jones) leading to heartbreak for his young daughter, these stories weave the beautiful with the grotesque.

The acclaimed Italian director is a two-time winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival for Gomorrah (2008) and Reality (2012).

Garrone said “I chose to enter Basile’s world because I found in his fables the mix between reality and fantasy that has always defined my artistic research.  The stories described in Tale of Tales form a world in which all the opposites of life are exposed: the ordinary and the extraordinary, the magical and the mundane, the real and the surreal, the simple and artificial, the sublime and the filthy, the terrible and the pleasing.”

Filming in English, Tale of Tales commences principal photography on 15 May on location in Italy.  Shooting will take place over four months in different Italian regions, in locations which include many mysterious and hidden castles, villas, landscapes and gardens, mostly unknown to the public still to this day.  Peter Suschitzky i is director of Photography, one of the most talented DP’s of contemporary cinema (A Dangerous Mind, A History of Violence, The Empire Strikes Back).  The composer is six-time Academy Award nominee, Alexandre Desplat (Philomena, Argo, The King’s Speech, Fantastic Mr Fox).

Producers include Garrone through Archimede srl, Jean Labadie at Le Pacte, Jeremy Thomas at Recorded Picture Company and Rai Cinema with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Eurimages. The film was cast by Jina Jay. Hanway Films will handle international sales worldwide.  Le Pacte will distribute in France, and Rai Cinema will release the film in Italy through 01 Distribution.

Access for further press here.

New Sparta Films acquires the film rights to book Burnt Shadows

New Sparta Films (NSF) has acquired the film rights to Kamila Shamsie’s achingly moving, breathtaking and absorbing fifth novel, Burnt Shadows, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize. NSF will develop and produce the film internally.

This intriguing novel starts in a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantanamo Bay. How did it come to this? he wonders. August 9th, 1945, Nagasaki. Hiroko Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss. In a split second, the world turns white. In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realisation.

In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost. In search of new beginnings, she travels to Delhi two years later. There she walks into the lives of Konrad’s half-sister, Elizabeth, her husband James Burton, and their employee Sajjad Ashraf, from whom she starts to learn Urdu. As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts.

But the shadows of history – personal, political – are cast over the entwined worlds of the Burtons, Ashrafs and the Tanakas as they are transported from Pakistan to New York, and in the novel’s astonishing climax, to Afghanistan in the immediate wake of 9/11. The ties that have bound them together over decades and generations are tested to the extreme, with unforeseeable consequences.

Sweeping in its scope and mesmerising in its evocation of time and place, “Burnt Shadows” is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed.

Shamsie was born in 1973 in Pakistan. She is the author of four previous novels: In the City by the Sea, Kartography (both shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Salt and Saffron and Broken Verses. In 1999 she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature and in 2004 the Patras Bokhari Award – both awarded by the Pakistan Academy of Letters.

Please find a review of the book on the Guardian by clicking here.

New Sparta Films in Cannes

The New Sparta Films team, Nicki Hattingh, Sheryl Crown and Anne Sheehan, will be attending the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The focus this year will be meet industry executives from international (non-UK) territories with whom New sparta Films might collaborate on commercially viable and creatively excellent independent film projects.

We will also be sourcing writer, director, and talent led projects from all territories.