IFC Films acquires Jessica Swale’s directorial feature debut ‘Summerland,’ starring Gemma Arterton

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Gemma Arterton stars in “Summerland.” [IFC Films]

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”).

Producing are Guy Heeley (“Locke”) and Adrian Sturges (“The Disappearance of Alice Creed”).

IFC Films will release the film on July 31, according to a news release.

“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.

“I’m delighted to be working with IFC to bring ‘Summerland’ to the U.S. ‘Summerland’ is about hope, imagination and the possible existence of magic. It is about finding light after darkness, and, as such, has never felt more timely. I can’t wait to share this story, in which Gemma gives a performance unlike anything we have seen her do before, as a woman who learns to embrace life, against all odds, in all its complexity and diversity,” Swale said in a statement.

The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco with Embankment Films and Gersh on behalf of the filmmakers, according to the news release.

“’Summerland’ reinforces the importance of opening oneself up to love and kindness in all different forms, and we’re proud to bring this powerful message and fierce debut from Jessica Swale to capture the hearts of audiences right now,” Bocco said in a statement.

-BAM

 

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