EXCLUSIVE: WestEnd Films has scored UK distribution and other key deals for TIFF Selects title Falling For Figaro, from director Ben Lewin (The Sessions) and starring Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) and Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$).
Entertainment Film Distributors has picked up the romantic comedy for the UK. Rights have also gone to Spain (Twelve Oaks), Benelux (Splendid), China (Huanxi Media Group), Israel (United King), former Yugoslavia (Investacommerce) and Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.
The UK distribution deal was negotiated by Nigel Green at Entertainment and Maya Amsellem at WestEnd, acting on behalf of the filmmakers.
Discussions are said to be ongoing for North America.
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The film was screened for the first time to buyers at TIFF as part of the festival’s new Industry Selects section, a curated selection of 30 projects with potential international sales appeal.
Set in the fierce world of opera competitions, and featuring music from The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Romeo and Juliet and La Traviata, the film follows Millie (Macdonald), a brilliant young fund manager who decides to leave behind her unfulfilling London job and long-term boyfriend to chase her lifelong dream of becoming an opera singer… in the Scottish Highlands.
She begins intense vocal training lessons with renowned but fearsome singing teacher and former opera diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop (Lumley). It is there she meets Max (Skinner), another of Meghan’s students who is also training for the upcoming ‘Singer of Renown’ contest. What begins as a brutal competition between the two pupils slowly turns into something more.
Also starring are Hugh Skinner (Fleabag), Gary Lewis (Outlander), Shazad Latif (Star Trek: Discovery) and Rebecca Benson (Flack).
The Australia-UK co-production is written by Ben Lewin and Allen Palmer, and produced by Philip Wade (I Am Mother), Judi Levine (The Sessions) and Arabella Page Croft (Sunshine On Leith). In association with Wade Brothers Films, the film received principal production funding from Screen Australia and Screen Scotland, and was financed with support from Film Victoria. WestEnd is handling world sales.