IFC Films acquires Jessica Swale’s SUMMERLAND – Brandy McDonnell reports

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IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Summerland, the directorial feature debut from writer-director Jessica Swale, an Olivier Award-winning theater director who was lauded as one of Variety’s Brits to Watch in 2019.

The period drama stars Gemma Arterton (Their Finest, Vita and Virginia), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Motherless Brooklyn, Belle), Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice), and Tom Courtenay (45 Years, Doctor Zhivago).

Summerland focuses on fiercely independent folklore investigator, Alice (Arterton) who secludes herself in her clifftop study, debunking myths using science to disprove the existence of magic. Consumed by her work, but also profoundly lonely, she is haunted by a love affair from her past. When spirited young Frank (Lucas Bond), an evacuee from the London Blitz, is dumped into her irritable care, his innocence and curiosity awaken Alice’s deeply buried emotions. Bravely embracing life’s miraculous unpredictability, Alice learns that wounds may be healed, second chances do occur, and that – just perhaps – magic really does exist. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.