Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all rights in the US and multiple territories including Latin America, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Scandinavia, Turkey, UK, multiple territories in Eastern Europe, Asia and South Africa to Aisling Walsh’s biopic of artist Maud Lewis, MAUDIE.
MAUDIE, written by Sherry White, stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. The film is based on a true story of an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maud (Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maud yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family, and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. MAUDIE charts Everett’s efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maud’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man, and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter.
The film is produced by Bob Cooper, Mary Young Leckie, Susan Mullen, and Mary Sexton and executive produced by Heather Haldane, Hussain Amarshi, Alan Moloney, Johanna Hogan, Mark Roberts, Sheldon Rabinowitz, Ross Jacobson, Tyler Mitchell and Ed Riche.
MAUDIE was made with financial participation by Telefilm Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation, Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund, the Ontario Media Development Corporation & Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and was produced in association with Corner Piece Capital, LLC & Citadel Canadian Films Inc. MAUDIE is a Rink Rat Productions/Screen Door/Parallel Films co-production.
The film recently premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. The deal was negotiated between CAA, Mongrel International and Sony Pictures Classics.
“Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke are astounding and surprising, making MAUDIE an illuminating film experience,” said Sony Pictures Classics.
“Maud Lewis, the artist and the woman, triumphantly found her ideal home and true happiness within,” added Mongrel International President Charlotte Mickie. “MAUDIE, the movie, has done the same with our dear friends at Sony Classics and with independent distributors all over the world. We’re so proud and we are looking forward to wonderful collaborations.”
Director Aisling Walsh stated, “I am delighted that Sony Pictures Classics have come on board to distribute MAUDIE. They have an amazing record of bringing indie films to the widest audience possible and I am so excited to be working with them.”
“Aisling’s brilliant direction and the incredible performances of Sally and Ethan have made this a very special film and I couldn’t be more pleased to have it in the hands of Sony Classics. This has been a passion project of mine since I first read the script, and I am thrilled to know that it is getting the excellent distribution it deserves,” said Producer Bob Cooper.
“MAUDIE is the latest Canadian Irish coproduction to find its way into the hearts of theatrical audiences. Maud Lewis’s work was first discovered by discriminating American art collectors and we know her story will touch the hearts of US film audiences too. Sony Pictures Classics is the gold standard for the distribution of world class films and we are thrilled that Sony joins our esteemed group of distributors around the globe to take MAUDIE to the world,” added Producer Mary Young Leckie.
Independent distributors of MAUDIE include Mongrel Media (Canada), La Belle Company (France), NFP (German-speaking Europe), Shochiku (Japan), Transmission (Australia/New Zealand), Jaguar (airlines), Hagi (Poland), AUD (South Korea), Front Row (Middle East), MegaCom Film (Ex-Yugoslavia), Karma (Spain) and Shoval (Israel).
ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world. Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 32 Academy Awards® (28 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 159 Academy Award® nominations (133 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for WHIPLASH, AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/.
ABOUT MONGREL INTERNATIONAL
Mongrel International, an operating division of Mongrel Media, acquires and sells films worldwide. In keeping with the parent company’s mandate, Mongrel International focuses on the best in Canadian and world cinema. For over 20 years, as a leading independent distributor, Mongrel Media has specialized in bringing carefully curated, culturally relevant and beautifully crafted films to Canadian audiences. Mongrel International is now doing the same for audiences around the world.