WILSON, MARK STANLEY, SEAN BEAN
Monday 20 June:
Principal photography has commenced on DARK RIVER, the third feature film from writer/director CLIO BARNARD (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), starring RUTH WILSON (The Affair,
Saving Mr Banks), MARK STANLEY (Game of Thrones, Kajaki) and SEAN BEAN (The Martian, The Lord of The Rings).
DARK RIVER is produced by Clio Barnard’s
long-term producer Tracy O’Riordan (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant) of Moonspun Films with Left Bank Pictures’ Lila Rawlings, Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie executive
producing. The film is backed by Film4, the BFI Film Fund, Screen Yorkshire and the Wellcome Trust and was developed by Film4, the BFI and the
Wellcome Trust. Protagonist Pictures is handling world sales. Shooting will take place on location in
Yorkshire for 5 weeks.
Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth
Wilson) returns to her home village for the first
time in 15 years, to claim the tenancy to the family farm she believes
is rightfully hers. Once there she is confronted by a brother (Mark Stanley)
she barely recognises, worn down by years of trying to keep the farm going, who
is naturally hostile to her arrival and her claim over the tenancy. Their
dispute unearths traumatic memories for Alice, memories which have remained
dormant for years but which now threaten both of their futures.
Barnard has established herself as one of the UK’s most distinctive
cinematic voices following rave reviews and awards for her feature-length debut
Arbor, a documentary about the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar,
as well as her sophomore feature The Selfish Giant. The latter film followed two scrappy
13-year-old working-class friends in Bradford seeking their fortune by getting
involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal. The film was a huge critical success on its
release, launching at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and winning the British Film
of the Year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards along with a host of other
Clio Barnard was the first recipient of the Wellcome
Trust Screenwriting Fellowship, in partnership with BFI and Film4, in 2013.
DARK RIVER was developed during her year in residence at Wellcome when she had
unparalleled access to experts in traumatic memory.
DARK RIVER reunites many of Clio Barnard’s long-term collaborators
including production designer Helen
Scott (Fish Tank, Red Road, The
Selfish Giant); casting director Amy
Hubbard (The Lord of The Rings
trilogy, Homeland, The Arbor) winner of a BIFA for her casting of The Selfish Giant; costume designer Matthew Price (Wild Bill, The Arbor, The Selfish Giant); Tim Barker (The Deep Blue
Sea, Bronson) responsible for sound on both The Arbor and The Selfish
Giant; and Nick Fenton (Submarine, The Double) responsible for
editing both The Arbor and The Selfish Giant.
Ruth Wilson’s career has
been on the rise since her role as Alice Morgan in the psychological crime drama
Luther. Since then, she has appeared in Anna Karenina, Suite Francaise, Saving Mr Banks opposite
Tom Hanks, and in Locke as the voice of Katrina. A two-time
Olivier Award winner for her theatre work in A Streetcar Named Desire and Anna
Christie, Ruth was BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated for her role in the
mini-series Jane Eyre and was awarded
a Golden Globe for her role in the TV series The Affair. Ruth’s upcoming
films include Osgood Perkins’ I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the
House and John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at
Parties opposite Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning.
Stanley’s film credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mr. Turner. His well-received
performances in TV projects include his portrayal of Grenn in Game of Thrones and Bill Sikes in Dickensian. His
breakthrough role came in Paul Katis’ Kajaki (released as Kilo
Two Bravo in the US).
Sean Bean’s 20 year career
spans films, television, theatre and radio.
His most prominent film roles include Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Alec Trevelyan in the James Bond
film GoldenEye and Odysseus in Troy, as well as roles in Patriot Games, Ronin, National Treasure,
North Country, The Island, Silent Hill, Black Death, Jupiter Ascending and The Martian. His TV performances include the portrayal of
Richard Sharpe in the series Sharpe,
the role of Ned Stark in Game of Thrones,
and his Emmy-winning performance in Accused.
RIVER is a visceral, haunting and lyrical story and we’re delighted to have
assembled our regular collaborators to help bring Clio’s beautifully crafted
script to life and welcome DOP, Adriano Goldman to the team. Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley’s fearless
commitment to the roles of siblings Alice and Joe leading up to the shoot is
exciting to behold’ says producer Tracy
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