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Greenock reel outsider to be shown at Cannes

Category: Dear Frankie News
Article Date: April 24, 2004 | Publication: The Herald (Glasgow) | Author: Phil Miller Arts Correspondent

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A LOW-budget Scottish film shot in Greenock is to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival next month, making a dramatic late entry to one of the world's most prestigious events.

The appearance of Dear Frankie, starring Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler, alongside the usual big-budget films at the annual festival such as The Ladykillers and Shrek 2, comes after it was picked up by Miramax, one of the most influential film firms in Hollywood, for global distribution. The film was shot last year at a cost of only 2.2m.

Andrea Gibb, who wrote the story for Dear Frankie, said she was delighted by the success. The work was originally meant to be a 15-minute film but was rejected from the Tartan Shorts scheme.

However, Shona Auerbach, the director, fell in love with the script and asked Ms Gibb to expand it to 90 minutes.

After being backed by Pathe Films and Scottish Screen, the film has been picked up by Miramax and will be released in the US in June and Britain later this year.

Miramax has released a series of successful films in recent years, including Cold Mountain and the Kill Bill films by Quentin Tarantino.

Dear Frankie also will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of Cannes in May.

It is the only Scottish film in the festival, and one of only two British films in competition at Cannes this year, the other being The Life & Death of Peter Sellers, directed by Stephen Hopkins, which is in the main film competition.

Dear Frankie is the second film written by Ms Gibb, 40. Her first was Afterlife, starring Kevin McKidd and Paula Sage, which won the audience award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2003.

Ms Gibb, from Greenock and now based in Glasgow, said last night : "I am very excited, we only heard in the last couple of days, but it is really lovely to hear and in that category it is still eligible for prizes."

Steven Spielberg, meanwhile, plans to begin work on a film about the 1972 Munich Olympics, in which Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches after a televised hostage stand-off. Marvin Levy, Spielberg's spokesman, said the director has cast Sir Ben Kingsley for the film.

Copyright 2004 Scottish Media Newspapers Limited


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