News Column

BRIEF: Weinstein Co. acquires Stephen Frears' latest, 'Philomena'

May 23, 2013

YellowBrix

May 23--"Philomena," the latest film from Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears ("The Queen," "The Grifters"), has been acquired by Weinstein Co. for distribution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain after a bidding war with several studios.

The announcement was made Thursday from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Seven minutes of the film, which stars Oscar-winner Judi Dench ("Shakespeare in Love") and Steve Coogan ("Tropic Thunder," "Night at the Museum"), were shown to buyers in Cannes on May 16.

The dramedy is based on the true story of an Irish woman who searches for the now-adult illegitimate son she had been forced to give up for adoption by nuns at a convent in the 1950s.

Coogan and Jeff Pope penned the screenplay, which is based on the 2009 nonfiction book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee," by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith.

TWC will release the film this fall.

"I am delighted to be working again with my dear friends Judi Dench and Stephen Frears," Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of TWC, said in a statement. "We have had great successes in the past together, and I have always enjoyed the collaboration. 'Philomena' is a brilliant project, and we are excited to bring it to theaters this fall."

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