'FRANKIE' FIT TO SHIP : Miramax picks up rights to Scottish drama

Category: Dear Frankie News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: November 20, 2003 | Publication: Daily Variety | Author: ADAM DAWTREY
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LONDON --- Miramax Films has acquired Shona Auerbach's Scottish drama "Dear Frankie" for distribution in North and South America, Spain, Italy and Australia.

Pic, starring Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler, is the story of a single mother who writes letters to her deaf 9-year-old son that she pretends are from his father, who is supposedly having adventures around the world. When the ship the boy believes his father is sailing on turns up at the local port, the mother must find a way to sustain her fiction.

The movie, in post and originally titled "Natural History," was produced by Stephen Evans and Caroline Wood's Scorpio Films for Pathe Pictures. Pathe struck the deal with Miramax on the strength of footage screened last week at Mifed.

Pathe and Miramax already are working together on Gurinder Chadha's "Bride and Prejudice."

"We are very excited about collaborating with Miramax for the second time this year, and especially in their support of Shona Auerbach, this talented first-time filmmaker," said Pathe's Francois Ivernel.

Agnes Mentre, head of acquisitions at Miramax, said, "We are very impressed by both the writing and what we saw of 'Dear Frankie.' This touching story, with its universal appeal, continues Miramax's quest to work with new talented filmmakers and bring their work to a large audience around the world."

Pic was spotted at Mifed by Miramax acquisitions veep Maeva Gatineau. The deal was negotiated by Miramax senior veepee of acquisitions and business affairs David Miercourt with Pathe's head of international sales, Alison Thompson.

"Dear Frankie" was co-financed by lottery coin from the U.K. Film Council and Scottish Screen, with equity investment from Inside Track.

Copyright 2003 Reed Elsevier Inc.