NEW YORK (January 16,
2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they acquired the rights in North America, Latin America and Asia from
Protagonist Pictures to TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, based on Vera Brittain’s World War One memoir of the same name.
The film, directed by James Kent and adapted by Juliette Towhidi, stars
Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton, Dominic West, Emily Watson, Colin
Morgan, Miranda Richardson, Joanna Scanlan, Hayley Atwell, Jonathan Bailey,
Alexandra Roach, and Anna Chancellor.
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH is produced by
David Heyman and Rosie Alison of Heyday Films, co-produced by Celia Duval, and
executive produced by Christine Langan and Joe Oppenheimer of BBC Films,
Richard Mansell, Zygi Kamasa of Lionsgate UK, Hugo Heppell of Screen Yorkshire,
and Henrik Zein of Nordisk. The film was funded by BBC
Films, Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, BFI, Nordisk Film Production,
Lipsync and Ingenious.
YOUTH is a searing story of love, war and remembrance, adapted by Towhidi from
the beloved First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the
classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. Vera,
irrepressible, intelligent and free-minded, overcomes the prejudices of her
family and hometown, to win a scholarship to Oxford. With everything to live
for, she falls in love with her brother’s brilliant friend Roland Leighton as
they go to University to pursue their literary dreams.
But the First World War
is looming and as the boys leave for the front, Vera realizes she cannot sit
idly by as her peers fight for their country, so volunteers as a nurse and sets
off for France.
The deal was negotiated with
Mike Goodridge and Vanessa Saal for Protagonist Pictures and SPC.
Brittain’s heartfelt and powerful memoir defined a generation nearly a century
ago. With TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, director
James Kent, actress Alicia Vikander in a fine performance, producers David
Heyman and Rosie Alison and their team, bring this vital story to life in a way
that speaks to all generations,” said Sony Pictures Classics.
am thrilled to see Sony Picture Classics partner our journey in bringing TESTAMENT
OF YOUTH to the screen. I am so proud of this heartfelt, beautifully performed
film of youthful hope and searing love that speaks across the ages. The
prospect of this extraordinary story being cherished by an American audience is
extremely exciting,” stated Director James Kent.
Producer David Heyman
added, “I have
known Michael and Tom for many, many years and have admired their vision,
integrity and passionate support of great films and original voices for even
longer and so am thrilled that they have chosen to distribute TESTAMENT OF
YOUTH. We could not be in better hands.”
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 158 Academy Award®
nominations (132at Sony Pictures
Classics) including Best Picture nominations for 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 PROTAGONIST PICTURES
Commercially minded and creatively spirited, Protagonist Pictures is an
international finance, production and sales company committed to strong
relationships with film-makers, financiers and distributors. Launched in London
in 2008 by shareholders including Film4, Vertigo Films and Ingenious Media, the
company quickly created a strong brand as a home for bold stories and exciting
new directing voices. It has now expanded from its UK origins to handle titles
from around the world, with a wider range of directors, producers and budgets.
current slate includes Yann Demange’s feature debut ’71; Peter Strickland’s The
Duke Of Burgundy; and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The
Lobster, featuring Colin Farrell, Rachael Weisz, Ben Whishaw, John C Reilly
and Lea Seydoux, which is in post production. Shooting in the coming months
will be Andrea Arnold’s first US project American
Honey, Rebecca Miller’s romantic comedy Maggie’s
Plan with Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore, Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship with Chloe
Sevigny, Brady Corbet’s feature debut The
Childhood Of A Leader, starring Berenice Bejo and Robert Pattinson, and the
new Ben Wheatley thriller Free Fire,
with Luke Evans, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Olivia Wilde.
ABOUT HEYDAY FILMS
Films was founded in 1997 by British Film producer, David Heyman. Its credits
include the Harry Potter film series
(the most successful movie franchise in filmmaking history),Yes Man (starring Jim Carey), Holocaust
drama The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, andAlfonso Cuaron’s multi-award winning
space film, Gravity. Its most recent
production is the family film Paddington
(written and directed by Paul King) which has just topped the UK box office and
opens in the US on January 16th 2015.
Films has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. but remains an independent
production company committed to producing a wide range of films, from
large-budget studio movies to smaller-budget independent productions.
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